Department in year long drive to improve grassland management skills on Irish farms
The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, has officially launched 2017 as the ‘Year of Sustainable Grassland’.
This initiative will see a yearlong focus by the Department, its Agencies and other stakeholders on grass productivity and utilisation, grassland sustainability and the international reputation of Irelands’ grass based production systems.
Minister Creed said, ‘I am announcing this initiative to bring an added focus on this critical part of our competitive livestock industry’.
Speaking on a visit to the farm of Cork farmer, Ger Dineen, Kilnamartyra, Macroom, Minister Creed said: “Grass is at the heart of our efficient dairy and livestock systems and is recognised and valued by our international customers as a sustainable system’.
The aim of the initiative is to improve grass productivity and utilisation and to enhance and promote awareness of the sustainability of Ireland’s grass-based production system.
There will be a range of events over the coming year to support the initiative and will involve all the agencies and many industry stakeholders.
The initiative supports the goals of Food Wise 2025 strategy and aims at raising awareness on the critical role that grass plays in supporting competitive dairy and livestock production.
These sectors possess a significant cost advantage in the form of an environmentally sustainable, rain-fed, grass based production system. It is this grass based system that provides Ireland with its comparative advantage in increasingly competitive international markets but there is room for improvement.