Teagasc have today released a sustainability report, which demonstrates the social, economic and environmental sustainability on Irish farms.
The report, 2015 Sustainability report, is based on data collected from Teagasc’s 2015 National Farm Survey.
The report uses this information to put into quantities the performance of Irish farms in a number of key areas.
The positives to come from this report is that it links farm profitability with sustainability, while also demonstrating how adopting new technologies and improving management practices can help reduce a farms environmental impact while also increasing profits.
The report also shows that the most profitable farms in the country usually have lower greenhouse gas emissions per meat produced or per unit of milk produced.
It highlights the positive impacts of these practices promoted by Teagasc, through their Bord Bia carbon Navigator.
The report also points out that the most successful and profitable dairy farms in the country, are achieving more milk production per kg of nitrogen applied. This points to the positive impacts of having a good farm nutrient management system in place.
Social sustainability of farms was also noted in the report, with indicators relating to quality of life and working conditions on farms.
This highlights how some farmers may be at risk of isolation, or where the average age of farm families is high. While this also proves that arranging farm succession is also an issue to farmers. See chart 3.
Speaking of the publishing of the report was Dr Emma Dillon of Teagasc, who said that it reveals the variations between farms in all sectors at different levels of profitability.
She added that this report will help bring more farmers in line with the industries top performers and will ensure that the Irish farming sector will continue to improve.
She continued by saying that this report demonstrates that Irish farming is of the high quality demanded by global food companies and consumers.
Dr John Lynch of Teagasc also spoke of the report, saying “Recording these sustainability indicators over time is also important to show continued improvements and monitor the impact of suggested practices and technologies on real farms.”
These indicators will continue to be developed by Teagasc, in order to ensure that they remain in line with developing international standards and scientific quality.
While work is already underway on the 2016 edition of the Teagasc National Farm Survey Sustainability Report, planned to launch at the end of this year.
The Teagasc National Farm Survey 2015 Sustainability Report is available online at: