The voluntary resource management programme – Smart Farming – has announced its 2019 results with average cost savings on participating farms of €6,336.

The programme is run by the Irish Farmers’ Association (IFA) in partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to a statement from the IFA, the results round off a very successful 2019, with Smart Farming being awarded the inaugural Talamh Agri-Innovation award at the RDS Spring Awards.

The programme was also selected as a Sustainable Development Goals Champion for 2019 and 2020 by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Richard Bruton.

Other results from Smart Farming 2019 include:
  • Average cost saving on farms of €6,336;
  • 10% average greenhouse gas emissions reductions identified on farms;
  • Addressing soil fertility accounted for 24% of the savings;
  • Improved grassland management accounted for 23% of the savings.

Commenting on the results, IFA president Joe Healy said: “2019 has been a very busy and successful year for Smart Farming.

“It is really great to see farmers’ good work being recognised at the RDS Spring Awards and also being selected as a Sustainable Development Goals Champion for 2019 and 2020.

“This provides a positive platform for farmers to build on their sustainability actions, in the face of increasing climate, biodiversity, air and water challenges,” Healy concluded.

The EPA’s director general Laura Burke added: “Since 2014, Smart Farming has identified pathways and solutions for farmers to reduce the environmental burden of agriculture, while also improving farm finances.

In a fast-changing world, the EPA will continue to work with the IFA to deliver best-practice guidance, driven by the latest science.

Concluding, Burke said: “The agency calls on farmers and agri-business leaders across the country to participate in Smart Farming and ensure the long-term environmental and economic sustainability of Ireland’s agricultural sector.”