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what are you doing to prepare your farm for climate change?

  • 26-05-2022 9:35pm
    Registered Users Posts: 115 ✭✭ epicmoe

    Its coming - so we're told.

    What have you done so far and what do you plan to do to prepare your farm?



  • Registered Users Posts: 9,292 ✭✭✭ Birdnuts

    Hoping for a drier, warmer climate myself - though I may be biased (North Mayo!!)

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,504 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy

    I'm 8ncreasibg organic matter in a third of it, via organic practice.

    Put in a good few hedgerows and poplar belts to provide shade.

    Though whether they are done because of climate change or I'm sticking them onto this thread is debatable

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,638 ✭✭✭✭ wrangler

    Looking at all teh planes crossing here this morning, I've decided to loook after the environment when every one else does.

    Heavy land here so a little drought wouldnt do any harm

  • Registered Users Posts: 115 ✭✭ epicmoe

    A) that wasn't the question

    B) Thats a real mature attitude you've got right there.

    C) dry clay is worse than moist clay!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 115 ✭✭ epicmoe

    How exactly are you doing that?

    This was exactly the kind of answers I'm looking for.

    Personally I'm aiming to diversify - we have already planted 3/4 of our land with A wide variety of native broadleaf forestry to provide shade and and a buffer for any extreme weather patterns. In our grant we have written that we can run enterprises underneath the forestry as soon as it is established, as it is for "continuous cover" not clear felling harvest.

    Hoping to put in some more ponds as well for water capture and storage.

    Other than that I haven't much of an idea what to do, but definitely needs to be a priority I think.

  • Registered Users Posts: 115 ✭✭ epicmoe

    What practices in particular? Regenerative grazing management? Or spreading organic matter? or something else?

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,971 ✭✭✭ patsy_mccabe

    Are you asking what are we doing to alleviate climate change OR what are we doing to prepare for the changes when they come?

    " Always keep your eye on the ball, even when its in the refs pocket"

  • Registered Users Posts: 115 ✭✭ epicmoe

    to prepare for climate change as it comes. Whatever we can do to alleviate climate change should also be done, be we are too far on now to be able to get away from it altogether, so I'm curious as to what actions I can take to prepare mu farm to face the effects of climate change over the coming years.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,971 ✭✭✭ patsy_mccabe

    I'm mindful of more extreme wet and dry spells, so I'm keeping more Silage than normal. Better to be looking at it than looking for it.

    " Always keep your eye on the ball, even when its in the refs pocket"

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,915 ✭✭✭ herdquitter

    I'm not doing one single thing in regards to climate change as a primary motivator.

    However, I am doing a lot of things to move away from chemical/conventional/green revolution agriculture which will have a primary aim of increasing and diversifying my income, and have positive nature benefits as a by product. I also intend to grow my own trees from local seed and cuttings as much as possible to create micro climates on this exposed farm to grow more and better pasture, lower the energy requirements of stock and give health and biodiversity benefits, again as by products.

    What I have actually completed so far is mostly education & planning. As well as no longer buying fertiliser or pour on's. Slow progress but I keep moving forward which is the important thing, perfect being the enemy of done.

  • Registered Users Posts: 16,720 ✭✭✭✭ Donald Trump

    No offence OP, I might be wrong but I get the impression that you might be a person who "farms" as a hobby rather than to produce for sale.

    It isn't viable for people to plant three-quarters of their farms with trees if they are actually trying to produce food for supply. It is different if it is only an expensive hobby and people want to grow a few things for themselves.

    The importance of food supply is going to become a lot more pronounced over the next few years on a global basis

  • Registered Users Posts: 288 ✭✭ JohnChadwick

    Agree, the consequences of this in future years will be prevalent.

    Like anything, you'll have the early adopters who see it coming and act, then the ones who will be forced to change due to govt legislation/market conditions and will muddle on through but remaining less in control of things. Then the stragglers at the end that adapt too late and will be killed off.

    It's all those things mentioned above to prepare i.e. More shelter, drought resilient grasses, outwinterable animals etc. Silage and slurry the only occasions a tractor drives into a field.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 12,323 Mod ✭✭✭✭ blue5000

    I'm producing less. Hopefully the world population will fall to around 1b from 8b and the problem will solve itself.

    If the seat's wet, sit on yer hat, a cool head is better than a wet ar5e.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,346 ✭✭✭ J.O. Farmer

    To be fair maybe they are apple trees which would provide food or maybe even orange or banana trees in anticipation of global warming.

    They may be going to graze pigs underneath when they establish as shade and sell organic pork. They mentioned the trees being cover for another enterprise.

    Alternatively they may be somebody not overly interested in doing much farming and would have planted regardless of climate change.

    I myself am going to do whatever is most profitable (loses me least money) come what may without planning 75% of my land.

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,504 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy

    Regenerative grazing management via mob grazing.

    Means that there is Always a Bank of grass as well and I find it helps keep them out later as well.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,915 ✭✭✭ herdquitter

    Can I ask about the grant, what is it? I'm not interested in the money, just when I went to an open day regarding the native woodland scheme they were adamant there'd be no farming in the woodland after the grant had stopped paying out.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 11,504 ✭✭✭✭ Danzy

    When you look at where the global population has exploded in the last 70 years, it is in places where agriculture was always up against it.

    Farmers in places like India, the paddy fields of Asia, thrown out Fertilizer at rates that we couldn't imagine and that would poison the ground here.

    Their high rainfall and soils loose all nutrients quickly.

    Improved crops, better management practices all helped but for about 2 bn people in Africa and Asia its down to shocking abuse of Fertilizer.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,638 ✭✭✭✭ wrangler

    There's people who can handle the stress of expansion, they seem to be made different. That's where all our employment comes from, people who have foresight and not afraid of hard work/long hours.

    Most are same as myself, they'll evolve as climate change evolves.

    It is not always the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,562 ✭✭✭ Say my name

    Nearly like what Wrangler has posted it can be taken too far the other way. This mantra of I'm not here to feed the world looked well five years ago but it's looking a bit selfish and an ill thought out statement now with famine looming.

    There's a happy medium of farming for humus/ carbon production with less use of herbicides, pesticides, anthelmintics. Food is medicine. Isn't it better someone is eating your food produced that way than leaving food production to someone else far down the too much route.

    That'd be my thinking now. Best of both. We are still paid on volume. Always will be. You have to keep both eyes on all aspects. Otherwise you'll need an off farm job and then your mindset changes dramatically.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,033 ✭✭✭ ginger22

    and reducing food output from your farm is not bothering your concience.

  • Registered Users Posts: 104 ✭✭ James2022

    A lot of posters are are mistaking what "preparing for climate change" means. It's not changing your operation to reduce your impact on climate change bu what you are doing to deal with the weather changes that come with it.

    Since the blizzard and drought I've started preparing more for changing weather. Those were extremes(for Ireland) but the summers are getting hotter every year. We had 3 heat waves last year and this year has already had a bunch of hot days where cattle were slightly uncomfortable. Only going to get hotter in June-August

    To deal with this I'm adding in bigger water troughs. Upgrading the well and sinking pipes across the farm to split every field into suitable paddocks.

    Fly-Pour on 3 times over the summer. Something I already do but insects are exploding in numbers in my area.

    Shaving backs at Winter and using lime 3-4 times on their backs. Keeps animals cooler and reduces outbreaks of lice during warm Winter weather.

    Making sure every paddock has suitable shelter. I have lots of tress and thick hedgerow across my farm. It's one of the biggest nuisances on the farm because of the work and trouble it causes but when there is a hot day animals need shelter. At a Teagasc Open Day they said "Trees and hedges have no place on a farm" and went as far as to laugh at anyone who tried to make an argument. The animals must have been miserable on their farm during the drought or any heat wave since.

    I've also started moving towards shorter haired breeds. Someone once told me Salers were the breed of the future because of the thick hair for our cold climate but unless you are out wintering animals need to be more conditioned for our growing warmer climate.

    Going to invest in solar panels to supply the farmyard's electricity.

    I have water tanks setup under the gutters of most buildings. One I used for power washing and adding water to slurry tanks, the other for drinking water in the cow shed.

    With increased growth rates for grass in recent years it's also come with the problem of increased ivy and briars. My whole county is being destroyed by them, nearly every tree is covered in ivy on my farm. Not sure what to do, can't take up a full time job trimming ivy all day.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,915 ✭✭✭ herdquitter

    Thanks but I'll take advice from the lad who was spending €1200 to dry off cows and is now spending €3.80 to do the same job. Profit is sanity, turnover is vanity. The production mindset is what has farming in the position it's in, shouting and squealing at any pothole in the road due to so many with Fr. Ted accounts due to the input prices.Regular fodder crisis and harping on about most everything.

    The same as yourself, it's good this week 😄

    You're paid on what you sell and how you decide to sell it. If that's volume to a coop then that's your choice. There are other choices. I'm surprised at you coming out with that. I don't see anything selfish about the statement. One side of the coin farmers are saying we're so small our emissions etc. don't make a difference, next thing we're saving the world from famine 🤷‍♂️ No one said no production.

  • Registered Users Posts: 569 ✭✭✭ dh1985

    Has the weather gotten that much hotter to date. Few good weeks the last few years but its been the same way for as long as I can remember. In fact I would have thought summers were better years ago, more settled less rain. Might not have been as effected by drought as people seemed to be stocked lighter back then. Maybe I am wrong but would have thought the bigger change has come on the winter side of things with more rain and milder conditions.

    As for the shelter whilst I would be a big advocate for good hedges and good trees ,more from an aesthetics perspective than anything, I would also have fields split into paddocks with some having minimal or no shelter. Animals were as happy in these the past few years basking in the sunshine and were definitely well removed from been miserable.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,562 ✭✭✭ Say my name

    I've seen it back in conferences in Ireland years ago here where the cool line was "I've no obligation to feed the world". That in itself leads to thinking producing for outside of your farm must be bad.

    It was lazy thinking brought by farmers with maybe not even 10 acres and outside employment or the other extreme those with hundreds of acres and relying on the bps and letting the farm go wild.

    It was lazy thinking then and it is even worse lazy thinking now. Only for our minister was sent to Dubai to see what actual food exports mean to the country and how we're perceived abroad, Pippa would have steam rolled all over him.

    Imagine back in famine times in Ireland a group of starving people looking for food. They come to the finest of a farm in meath. Hundreds of acres. The best of land looking for food. The farmer rocks up and tells them "Ye can phuck off. There's no food being produced here. I'm not feeding the world. I'm only feeding myself."

    The very same scenario is playing out today except that group is just not on our doorstep.

    It's an extremely ignorant way. And people want to be rewarded monetarily for that way. No. Cut back your inputs, farm smartly, but keep your output up. There was talk on this forum of organic producers getting 500 gallons a cow. That's worse than 80 years ago. There's organic producers in the UK doing 2000 gallons simple.

    But, but. Take everything with a pinch of salt. That's an unbelievable figure you quoted above for dry off. And so is the opposite figure. Give six years to get a true picture. I dropped antibiotics one year. Would I do it again? No. I learned my lesson the hard way. It's simple if you're not in the middle of it.

    I heard a spiel from an organic farmer once. Turns out they buy fert under the counter and spray glyphosate for weeds. But to all else. Oh yea they do it for the environment.

    There's a lot of jiggery pokery in this world. You just have to know exactly who you're talking to.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 3,915 ✭✭✭ herdquitter

    You're taking one comment and turning it into rewilding and the green party basically, covid has gone to your head.

    The man is producing, and selling his produce differently, he's happier and more profitable yet there's criticism of him.