Jason Stanley, from Errill, Portlaoise, Co Laois, will host the first of Teagasc’s Growing Organics Monitor Farm Programme walks on Friday 2 June at 12pm.

Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture Pippa Hackett launched the new Teagasc-run programme, stating that “organic farm walks are an invaluable way for farmers to see for themselves the opportunities that exist by adapting their farming system to organic principles”.

“This programme of organic farm walks will further increase the level of knowledge and advice available to existing and new organic farmers,” she added.

According to director of the Teagasc knowledge transfer directorate Dr Stan Lalor, the group of demonstration farmers “will work closely with our Teagasc organic specialist team and our team of organic advisers across our advisory regions”.

The Stanley farm

The Stanley farm comprises of 78ha of grass and tillage. They have been supplying oats to Flahavans and organic seed barley to Boortmalt since 2011.

The protein source for the sheep ration comes from the beans grown on the farm.

Jason Stanley said: “I am delighted that the beans have been able to replace the need to purchase organic soya bean meal.”

He imports dairy sludge from Tirlán in Ballyragget and spreads lime to keep the soil fertility of the farm maintained.

Growing of winter forage crops on the farm has been an important source of feed and it especially helps to finish the later lambs.

Topics to be discussed on the walk:

  • Benefits of forage crops and multi-species grasses.
  • Growing organic tillage crops.
  • Markets for organic produce.
  • Organic system financials.
  • Maintaining soil structure and fertility.
  • Water quality.
  • Health and safety.
  • The Irish Organic Association and the Organic Trust, along with representatives from Bord Bia, the Department and ICM of Camolin, will also be present on the day.