Origin Green Farmer Award winners and Dairygold milk suppliers, Trevor and Olive Crowley of Lissarda, County Cork, will host a farm walk this Friday, 3 May between 11am and 2pm.
On the day, the Crowleys will share information on their award-winning sustainable farming practices along with practical advice from Bord Bia, Teagasc and Dairygold.
The Crowleys won Bord Bia’s 2018 Origin Green Award for reduced carbon footprint for dairy, achieving a reduction of 18% per kg of milk solids through a combination of a longer grazing season, a reduction in nitrogen application and reduced manure emissions.
Commitment to biodiversity
The competition judges also noted the Crowley’s commitment to biodiversity on their farm, including new hedge plantings, fenced watercourses and a man-made pond installed as an alternative water source.
The Crowley farm is very family orientated, with the couple’s three children, Gavin, Alice and Katlyn, all helping in the daily routine of milking 150 cows on a 68.8 hectare grazing platform.
Regular soil sampling to correct any identified deficiencies and good grass management has helped the Crowleys to increase days at grass.
The addition of clover to some plots has led to increased milk solids and reduced the need for nitrogen in mid-season.
The Crowleys have a targeted approach to slurry application, initially directing applications to where it is most needed.
The use of a trailing shoe also minimises nitrogen loss. For more accurate application, fertiliser is applied using a calibrated, GPS-equipped spreader.
Visitors to the Crowley farm on Friday 3 May will get a full insight into all these measures and more.