IFA Environment & Rural Affairs Chairman and Smart Farming’s Programme Leader, Paul O’Brien said that Rural Water Week is an important recognition of the good work being undertaken by over 400 community-owned group water schemes (GWS) around Ireland.
“As custodians of their environment, farmers are acutely aware of their responsibility to protect water quality. Programmes such as Smart Farming and the Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme (ASSAP) work with farmers to ensure that measures adopted at farm level improve and protect water quality,” he said.
He said one of the key actions for farmers to protect water quality is to ensure that the right fertiliser is applied at right time, at the right rate, in the right place on the farm.
“Proper timing increases yields; reduces nutrient losses; increases nutrient use efficiency; and prevents damage to the environment. Improving nitrogen use efficiency will save farmers money on input costs while benefiting water and air quality,” said Mr. O’Brien.
He said the deadline for spreading chemical Nitrogen and Phosphorus is next Tues, Sept 14th. Farmers that need to apply fertiliser can benefit from the higher soil temperatures at the moment.
The closed period will remain in place until Jan 12th in the south-east; Jan 15th in the midlands and west; and Jan 31st in northern counties.
For more information on the programme, visit www.smartfarming.ie or to download the most recent guidance on water & grassland management, visit https://smartfarming.ie/water/ and https://smartfarming.ie/grassland/.