The first Northern Irelands GrassCheck SUPER-G farm network co-innovation workshop took place on 26th February 2019 at Conference Hall, AFBI Hillsborough, Northern Ireland. The workshop was well attended with a total of 25 farmers and advisors.
The main objectives of the meeting were to:
- Introduce the SUPER-G project
- Discuss the main local issues for permanent grassland (PG) management
- Discuss the potential to investigate the use of new PG management options or emerging technologies to help deliver Ecosystem Services (ES) in the intensive lowland areas of NI.
The below questions were asked to the group:
- List below what your permanent grassland (PG) should deliver now and in the future?
- Which Ecosystem Service (ES) is the most important for Northern Ireland (NI) farmers now and in the future?
- What are the issues NI farmers face when trying to deliver the ES?
- Referring to the table of ES, how could you deliver these in the future?
- What management options or innovations would help farmers deliver the ES?
- For the management options or innovations that you gave in question 5, which ones are the most important or would be most beneficial to your farm business?
Farmers answers are presented below:
- Water quality protection, hedgerows, a carbon sink and a habitat for wildlife
- Grass for livestock, biomass (bioenergy) and other products; tie between landscape and recreation
- Knowledge gap and lack of information available on mitigation strategies and links with other pollutants
- A change of mindset is required by the farmers to help reduce the GHG emissions and there is a need for a more targeted approach to the problem
- Knowledge and information on the most effective mitigation strategies to reduce GHG emissions would help the farmer deliver on this ES
- Virtual fencing
See below some photographs from this day.