It’s an over-used word, one that often causes people to tune out, but it is something that is far from boring. It is something we need to consider every day, in every decision we make in agriculture. We need to be more sustainable.

There, it’s been said, sustainability is a word overused in strategies and department policies, but it can never be overused in day-to-day farming.

Sustainability has to cover economics and environmental aspects of farming.

In this week’s Focus, we visit a farmer in Co Tipperary doing things differently. Tommy Tierney’s enthusiasm for regenerative farming provides inspiration and optimism for the future.

His methods might not be for everyone, but his refreshing approach might give you some ideas to consider on your farm.

Let’s not look at all strategies and roadmaps in a negative manner

He is taking the challenges faced and building a sustainable enterprise and that’s what farmers must do. They must consider the changes coming in farming as a challenge not just to be overcome but a challenge to improve farm businesses. If fertiliser use needs to be reduced, soil health needs to be improved. Fertiliser bills can be cut. There is potential to save money.

Let’s not look at all strategies and roadmaps in a negative manner. No doubt these documents need more direction and consideration before implementation. Strategy 2030 has little consideration for farm incomes, but farmers must find ways to maintain and increase income.

Liquid nitrogen and multispecies swards are some of the ways we might reduce fertiliser inputs and both are featured. Another challenge facing many farmers is national infrastructure entering their farm. Stephen Robb talks to Michael Mahon, chief infrastructure officer at EirGrid, about upgrading our electricity grid to accommodate increasing levels of renewable energy.