Mervyn Auchmuty manages a 500-acre mixed cattle, sheep and tillage farm with his father, Robert, along the shore of Lough Ree, Co. Roscommon.
Cereals are grown using a low disturbance non-plough system to protect soil structure, increase earthworms, reduce leaching and prevent soil erosion.
“Since we have started using this system, we have more earthworms and more life in the soil.” Mervyn explained.
For the past decade, the Farming for Nature ambassadors have spread slurry using a low-emission system in intensively farmed areas of their land.
Working with nature
This year, for the first time, the Auchmutys are composting their farmyard manure; Mervyn noted that this method is more slow-releasing across crops, as they grow.
Mervyn and his father have successfully made the transition from intensive methods of spraying to working with nature, whilst not impacting yield.
“When people think of mindfulness, this is what I think of – just sitting here with nothing to disturb you, only the sound of the waves, birds and flies.” Mervyn concluded.