Teagasc aims to increase yield in the tillage sector by 1% per annum as part of its Tillage Road map to 2027.

Speaking at the launch of the road map, head of crops, environment and land use at Teagasc John Spink stated that the increase in yield should also come with reduced costs of production.

These reduced costs will come from a reduction in the use of plant protection products, an increase in the area of break crops being planted and the development of more resilient varieties.

Planted cropping area

The road map also targets having 50% of Irish planted cropping area in premium markets and break crops by 2027. The main premium markets will be cereals for the drinks industry, food-grade oats and oilseed rape for the food market.

Greenhouse gas emissions per hectare of grain are also to be reduced from 1.18t CO2/ha/year to 1.10t CO2/ha/year.

This is planned to come with an increase in the sectoral income per labour unit from €34,900/year (national farm survey data from specialist tillage farmers 2016-2018) to €45,000 per year in 2027.

Environmental targets

Spink also outlined the environmental road map for all sectors in which some of the targets include a major shift to the use of low emission slurry spreading (LESS) equipment and protected urea.

Teagasc is also in the process of setting up a national soil carbon observatory, investing in more mitigation research and updating the marginal abatement cost curve.