The Teagasc Water Quality Week runs throughout the week of Monday, 22nd March to Friday, 26th March. Water quality week is being organised in collaboration with the dairy processing co-ops and the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO).
During the week Teagasc and its partners will provide water quality focused information and advice to farmers to help minimise losses of nutrients, sediment and pesticides to water from their farming practices.
Noel Meehan, Programme Manager with the Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme (ASSAP) said; “Water Quality Week will cover a broad range of topics and will be available to farmers and the public, primarily through short videos posted on www.teagasc.ie, social media channels and digital media platforms, and also print articles in local print media.
Each day will be dedicated to a particular theme and will look to explain a range of water quality problems and provide practical advice and solutions to farmers.”
LAWPRO will get the ball rolling on Monday, March 22nd. They will explore the importance of water quality to farmers and explain how water quality is measured and where the public can access information on the streams and rivers of Ireland.
Monday 22nd March is World Water Day.
On Tuesday 23rd the Teagasc and Co-op ASSAP advisors will provide information on nitrogen with the help of researchers from Teagasc Johnstown Castle. Information will be provided on how nitrate interacts with soil and what farmers can do to minimise diffuse nitrate losses form their farms.
This will be followed on Wednesday 24th with a similar discussion on diffuse phosphorus (P) and sediment losses to waters and how farmers can ‘break the pathway’ of P and sediment losses by putting the right measure in the right locations on farms.
The focus on Thursday 25th will be on pesticide use on farms and how these can impact streams and rivers and also drinking water supplies. There will also be a focus on the roles that agro forestry and wetlands can play in helping to protect and improve water quality.
On Friday 26th March the week will be closed out by explaining the importance of good farmyard management practices as these play a vital role in minimising point source losses of nutrients.
There will also be an opportunity to tune into the weekly Teagasc Signpost Webinar for additional information and discussions on the topics covered by water quality week.
Further information on water quality week is available on www.teagasc.ie/ farmingforwaterquality from your local co-op sustainability advisor and www.watersand communities.ie.