Éanna knows the value of good grassland management, operating a rotational paddock grazing system. This ensures better grassland management on the farm.

However, Éanna also knows further improvements can be made. He is ready to take the Smart

Farming challenge, saying, “I heard that Smart Farming can help me to identify cost savings of at least €5,000 and ways to reduce my climate impact by 5-7%. To deliver this I have already sent in my fuel, feed and energy bills along with water, soil and silage samples to the Smart Farming team. They are coming to do a farm visit next week to identify cost savings.

I hope the savings identified will make a real difference to the bottom line here on the farm. Hopefully these savings will also benefit the environment for the local community and wider catchment.”

Spread fertilisers now to build winter feed stocks, advises Mark Plunkett, Teagasc

Second cut grass silage is an important crop on many farms, in order to replenish valuable winter feed reserves. To maximise the productivity of second cut silage, fertilise adequately with sufficient levels of nitrogen (N) phosphorous (P) and potassium (K).

The table below shows the fertiliser requirements (off takes) for second cut silage. This is based on grass yields of 2 to 4t DM/ha. The fertiliser programmes are shown with and without cattle slurry.

Think about the nutrient value of slurry

1. Slurry is a valuable source of N, P and K.

2. Summer application of 1,000 gallons of cattle slurry typically contains 3 units N, 5 units P and 32 units K.

3. Aim to recycle slurry on silage fields and apply under cool conditions.

4. Application with low emission techniques increase slurry N values by 3 units/ 1,000 gallons.

5. Aim to apply additional P & K for soil fertility build-up after second cut harvest.

Energy proof your home with €6,000 grant

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) encourages people to reduce their energy costs and improve the energy performance of their homes through the Better Energy Homes programme.

Cash grants from €50 up to €6,000 are available from the SEAI. Full details are available at www.seai.ie/betterenergyhomes or lo-call 1850 927 000.

For more information on Smart Farming visit www.smartfarming.ie