Moving farms to GPS navigation under a proposed eco scheme in the new CAP rather than the current proposal to use GPS fertiliser spreaders could see a major improvement in fertiliser application and efficiency on farms.

The move would reduce the investment required from at least €22,000 to €1,500-€2,500.

Allowing the use of a simple navigation system could reduce overlaps and overuse of fertiliser across the country.

Teagasc tillage adviser Ivan Whitten said a change in wording of the proposed eco-scheme measure would provide an option for the majority rather than the minority and would likely result in more fertiliser savings as a result of greater uptake.

He fears for the future of small to medium-sized tillage and mixed farms in Ireland, with a low carbon footprint, that are “trying to make the most profit from every acre” as CAP payments are reduced.