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Cavan farmer makes €5,990 in savings through Smart Farming
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Advertiser's announcement:
Cavan farmer makes €5,990 in savings through Smart Farming

By on
Early this year, Robert Watson and family sat down and pulled together their feed, electricity, fuel and fertiliser bills, soil samples and water quality results for the Smart Farming team.
Early this year, Robert Watson and family sat down and pulled together their feed, electricity, fuel and fertiliser bills, soil samples and water quality results for the Smart Farming team.

All this information was examined and a half-day farm visit took place. During the farm visit, the Smart Farming team focused on soil fertility, energy use, grassland management, water use, feed, inputs, waste, time and machinery management.

Let’s look at where the €5,990 savings were identified:

Grassland management:

  • Having a good reseeding plan in place.
  • Where weather permits, costs can be reduced by targeting a stock turnout date of mid-March, with an extended grazing season.
  • Potential savings of €1.50/cow/day.
  • Energy management:

  • Reviewing your energy supplier.
  • Switching from T8 to T5 lights.
  • Feed savings:

  • Quantity of meal fed should be tailored based on silage analysis results.
  • Savings can be generated through bulk buying and increased price checking.
  • Machinery:

  • Turn off engine, don’t leave engines ticking over.
  • Soil Fertility:

  • Most soils are index I and index II. Index III is optimum.
  • Lime deficiency on the farm is reducing grass growth.
  • Spread 42 tonnes of lime.
  • A five-year programme of additional phosphorus (P) proposed. Use of organic P proposed.
  • Reducing the climate impact by 20%: During the Smart Farming cost saving study, a carbon reduction strategy for Robert’s farm was developed using the Carbon Navigator decision support tool, developed by Teagasc and Bord Bia. Potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% was identified. Many of the measures, such as nitrogen efficiency and slurry spreading timing, will also lead to other positive environmental outcomes and reduce risks to water quality.

    Robert’s view

    “This Smart Farming study was very worthwhile. It was really good to have someone come in and look at what I do every day.

    “Like many farmers, I was more focused on the livestock and not enough on managing my own resources better – the land, the grass, the feed, even my own time. It’s good to know that I can also improve the local environment. After all, for myself and my wife, Goldie, it’s about making a difference for my daughter, Heidi, and the next generation.”

    For more information on Smart Farming visit www.SmartFarming.ie, or email SmartFarming@ifa.ie

    Call 01 426 0343

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