On Thursday 25th of March IOA launched its’ new “Field Talk” programme. Essentially it is a series of informal farmer led workshops on various aspects of organic farming. Initially IOA are hosting 4 events and we will be working with 5 farmers who are experts in their respective fields. We hope to grow and expand the programme over time.
Field Talk is designed for farmers who have recently converted to organic production. The first few years can be a difficult transition for some farmers and IOA would like to support members by facilitating access to other farmers to discuss their experiences, and explore in more detail the technical aspects of organic production. We will be looking in detail at organic inputs and maintaining productivity to increase farm viability. Field Talk is an on farm event and we encourage active discussion from participants. Each event will focus on a specific sector and a range of topics will be covered on the day.
June 22nd – Danny Kilcullen, Enniscrone, Co Sligo.
Danny has cattle, sheep, and some cereal production. Field Talk will be discussing clover establishment and fodder production including fodder rape. Danny will also look at the cost of finishing animals and the benefits of a mixed farm. Composting will also be examined in detail as will overall farm viability.
July 21st – Trevor Harris and Alan Mooney, Nass, Co Kildare.
Trevor and Alan are neighbouring farmers and have a lot of farming practices in common. Alan will look at red clover silage, economics of finishing animals, and overall animal health. Trevor will explore organic tillage production in detail, covering crops such as oats, combi crop, and oil seed rape. Soil fertility, crop selection and economic returns will be discussed.
September 2nd – John Liston, Croom, Co Limerick.
John is one of the founding members of the Little Milk Company who collectively produce an excellent range of dairy products. John has a suckler herd, dicussions will focus on breeding replacements, grassland management and milk processing. John also has an integrated wetland system and practices agro-forestry on the farm. At this Field Talk, participants will be joined by a visiting group of Swiss and German organic dairy farmers. The group is led by Peter Kunz, Professor of Animal Nutrition at Bern University. This will allow for exchange of information on farming practices and farm economics.
November 3rd – Sean Clancy, Cloghan, Co Offaly.
Sean is a beef farmer who also sells his award winning burgers at his “Organic Kitchen” which he brings to events around the country. Field Talk at the Clancy farm will focus specifically on winter housing which is often a challenge for new entrants to organic farming. A hoof trimming demonstration will also be given during this session.
Please note that places will be limited at Field Talk events so please do book in via email in advance of the event. Email either Tricia or John at IOFGA, specifying which event you plan to attend: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Directions to each event will be posted online, and emailed to participants who have booked in.