It is essential that farmers and the agricultural industry make their voices heard when it comes to the formation of strategies and policies in this country.
Contributing to consultations and discussions on the documents that set out roadmaps for farming and agriculture over the next number of years should be part of the job description, to ensure that the people on the ground have their say.
On looking through the submissions made to the consultation on Ag Climatise, which closed at the beginning of 2020, it is very clear that organisations and members of the public who had no association with farming have had their say and this is perfectly within their right, but farmers need to realise that their say can matter too.
A range of organisations, companies and individuals made submissions to the Ag Climatise consultation, from machinery and fertiliser companies and farm contractors, to the usual farm organisations and industry groups, to environmental groups.
Submissions were made in many different forms, from large documents to pages answering questions under the consultation process, to short emails and letters.
Among the submissions were many different suggestions and comments. Here are a few examples.
Continued research into protected urea was called for, with concerns raised over the safety of the active and carrier ingredients.
There was a call for the promotion of the use of digestate as a replacement for chemical fertilisers.
Another submission stated: “Proposing indigenous biomethane injection as an energy source cannot be justified as a viable solution to averting climate breakdown.”
There was also a call for 15,000ha of afforestation per annum over the next two decades in another proposal, as well as calls for more support for the horticultural sector.