This week’s FarmLand: Macra on ‘Farm to Fork’; and grass growth concerns

On this week’s FarmLand, we take a look at what the EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy means from the young farmer point of view; and we also look at how suckler and beef farms are faring with the dry weather and the impact on grass growth.

The EU’s Farm to Fork Strategy was published late last month, which, if it is accepted by member states, would mean substantial changes to the way we farm.

Younger farmers would be impacted by these changes as much as anyone, despite the fact the strategy document only mentions young farmers once. So what is the young farmer view on this?

To get a better idea, we spoke to Thomas Duffy, president of Macra na Feirme, for some insight on how young farmers will react to ‘Farm to Fork’. Will the strategy serve as a challenge to be met? Or could it be a deterent for young farmers?

Also this week, we look at the increasingly concerning issue around the dry weather and impact on grass growth.

AgriLand beef specialist Niall Claffey spoke to Teagasc cattle specialist Martina Harrington on how the recent spell of dry weather is affecting suckler and beef farms in terms of grass growth and soil moisture deficits.

While grass growth on these farms is variable depending on the location, demand has exceeded growth in some parts. Martina discusses options for beef farmers in relation to reducing demand and supplementing feed.

With little or no rainfall in some regions over the past number of weeks, the opportunity to spread fertiliser has also narrowed. Reflecting on some of the lessons learned from the 2018 drought, Martina outlines best practice when it comes to spreading both slurry and fertiliser on grazing and second-cut silage ground.

Finally, Martina provides some guidance in relation to spraying and lime spreading, while also answering the popular question: Is spreading water a viable option to boost grass growth?

FarmLand – video and podcast

Stay tuned to FarmLand every week as we aim to bring you all the latest farming news and know-how from across the country and across the sectors.

You can also listen to the audio from FarmLand (on a podcast) by clicking on this link.

AgriLand is Ireland’s largest agricultural news publisher – by audience.

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