During the farm visit the Smart Farming cost savings team studied the O’Sullivans’ feed, electricity, fuel and fertiliser bills, soil samples and water quality results. They focused on where cost and environmental savings could be identified across the following areas: soil fertility, energy use, grassland management, water use, feed, inputs, waste, time and machinery management.
SOIL FERTILITYUse soil test results to address pH levels. Tailor fertiliser use to NMP recommendations. Ensure soil sampling every 3-4 years, to track performance.
FEEDConsider bringing forward harvest cutting date.
ENERGYInstall plate cooler to do some of the cooling of milk. Consider installing a VSD.
GRASSLANDExcellent grassland management plan in place. Continue with reseeding plan.
Reducing the climate impact by 16%
During the Smart Farming Cost Saving Study, a carbon reduction strategy for Gillian and Neil’s farm was developed using the Carbon Navigator decision support tool developed by Teagasc and Bord Bia.
Potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 16% 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. Let’s take a closer look at the Carbon Navigator results.
The Farmers Speak – Gillian and Neil’s view
This Smart Farming study has provided food for thought for us here on the farm. We have things to do and new ideas. It’s reassuring to know implementing these changes can make a difference for ourselves and the wider environment. Worthwhile and highly recommended.
Smart Farming is supported by the participating organisations and brought to you by IFA in conjunction with the EPA