Teagasc is advocating for emission mitigation technologies to be adopted before any drastic decision is made on the dairy herd, head of the Signpost Programme Tom O’Dwyer has said.

The comments came during a Teagasc sustainable agriculture webinar on Friday morning, in response to a recent discussion around a dairy expansion clampdown, as cow numbers and fertiliser come into the spotlight.

O’Dwyer said: “I believe that the technologies available can reduce emissions. We are advocating for the opportunity for these technologies [to] be adopted before any drastic decisions are made.

“At the same time, we don’t have an infinite amount time to implement them. Support towards the adoption of these mitigation strategies will be vital.”

Early adopters

The Signpost Programme, which is set to get under way in the coming months, will consist of 100 demonstration farms that will act as early adopters of new emission mitigating technologies.

“We want to align all of the agricultural industry around this programme. The challenge will be immense. Widespread early uptake will be crucial - measures must be adopted now.

“The main focus will be on the main livestock farms of dairy, beef and sheep. All enterprises will be involved. Organic farmers will be included also.”

O’Dwyer confirmed that the Signpost farmers will be sourced through existing Teagasc demonstration farms.

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