Farm Sustainability is a term that is being mentioned a lot recently by politicians, environmentalists, farmers, researchers and the press. But what does this mean? For a farmer it means passing on a viable business to the next generation, but it is not just financial viability. It has to be a farm that is socially and environmentally sustainable also. It has to be profitable enough to sustain employment and reinvest money in the local economy to help support local communities. It has to have a lower carbon and environmental footprint in the future than it has now. Producing more food cannot be at any cost environmentally.
This was the theme of a Moorepark Dairy Open day held recently in Ireland attended by 10,000 dairy farmers. The good news is that all actions to become more environmentally sustainable will make a dairy farm more efficient and more profitable. Some of the researchers’ solutions include:
• Introducing Clover in all swards resulting in £450/ha increase in profits.
• Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS)
• Protected Urea Fertiliser
• Protecting Biodiversity. e.g. Hedgerows & Field Margins, Bufferstrips on watercourses.
• Energy & Water Efficiency
• Reducing Protein Content in Concentrates fed at Grass.
Contact Gerard at email@example.com or your local FCG Office, to see how you can farm in a more environmental way and improve your profitability at the same time.