Teagasc director Frank O’Mara has said that tillage farmers can get close to carbon neutral on their farms if they implement actions from the new Marginal Abatement Cost Curve (MACC) released by Teagasc earlier this year.
Some of these recommendations include the use of protected urea and carrying out straw incorporation.
The director outlined that tillage farms have the lowest emissions per hectare of all the enterprises in Ireland and a few more changes on farms could make a big difference to carbon emissions on these farms.
He said this while also being extremely mindful of the difficult year which tillage farmers are currently in.
Commenting on the harvest of 2023, he said: “The yields this year have been pretty mixed. There have been some very low yields and some quite high yields, but we have none of the record yields that we had last year.”
He commented that late-sown spring cereals performed poorly and will struggle to cover their costs, as farmers purchased inputs at high costs and are now receiving lower grain prices than in 2022.
“We are committed to supporting farmers through what are quite challenging times,” O’Mara stated. He said that advisers are available to help farmers with plans for their farm for next season.
O’Mara also commented on the confirmation this week that the nitrates derogation limits have now been cut from 250kg/ha to 220kg/ha.
He said this is “a big issue that has been with us for the last year”, adding that the announcement this week was not going to make access to land any easier.
As a result of the area being down and yields being down, O’Mara stated that there is going to be a fairly significant drop in cereal production.