A Teagasc demonstration farm walk will be hosted on the farm of the organics chairperson for the Irish Cattle and Sheep Farmers’ Association (ICSA) next week.
Fergal Byrne will host the walk next Wednesday (June 8) on his farm in Calverstown Little, Co. Kildare.
The event will cover sheep, cereals and beef finishing.
Byrne is inviting farmers and members of the public to come and see organic farming in practice and to meet and speak with producers and experts from the sector.
Speaking ahead of the farm walk, Byrne said: “We have seen considerable investment in the Organic Farming Scheme (OFS) in recent times, and with the cost of inputs – fertiliser in particular – continuing to spiral, switching to organics is becoming an increasingly attractive option for many.
“This event is an ideal opportunity for anyone considering entering organic production to see first-hand the differences in operating an organic system, and the many benefits of doing so,” he added.
The farm walk will be attended by Teagasc advisers; representatives from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; and organic certification bodies.
Byrne will also be available to answer questions from attendees.
The event is set to begin at 2:00p.m. Registration is required through the Teagasc website.
Byrne recently highlighted that prices for organic beef “slipped behind” prices paid for conventionally reared cattle during the month of May.
Speaking on May 19, Byrne said that it was “completely unsustainable” for organic beef prices to be lagging behind, particularly in light of the higher farm costs involved in rearing organic cattle.
According to the ICSA organics chair, this would lead to a situation where there is no incentive for beef farmers to get involved in organic farming.
“Unless processors up their prices for organic cattle there is little hope of enticing livestock farmers to switch to organics,” Byrne argued.