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Minister McConalogue and Teagasc plan fertiliser alternative strategy

TD has engaged with Teagasc deal with the rising cost and availability of fertilisers

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Horticulture

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7 October 2021 | 0

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue has engaged with Teagasc to create a roadmap for maintaining farm output while reducing the use of chemical fertiliser on farms and deal with the rising cost and availability of fertilisers internationally.

Minister McConalogue recently spoke with incoming Teagasc director Frank O’Mara where they agreed to examine all options in order to provide farmers with viable advice to run their farming business whilst reducing dependence on chemical fertiliser.

The report will look at the short, medium, and long-term options for farmers reducing chemical fertiliser usage.

The move comes in the context of a spike in fertiliser prices both at home but also internationally in recent weeks due, primarily, to increases energy costs.

Minister McConalogue and O’Mara agreed there needs to be a greater focus around lime and soil testing. Minister McConalogue recently launched an innovative €10 million soil sampling initiative.

“I’m acutely conscious of the situation around fertiliser prices which is very much an international issue,” said Minister McConalogue. “While I cannot control prices or influence the market, I believe there are options on the island where we can grow more grass while reduce our dependency on chemical fertiliser. This will have benefits for both farmers but also for the environment. We are very lucky to have Teagasc at our disposal and I know they will deliver a report and roadmap that will serve our sector, our farmers, and our environment well.

“I know Frank and his team will deal with this plan and roadmap as a matter of urgency and I look forward to seeing it come to fruition.”

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