Pictured in Teagasc Moorepark at the Grassland Farmer of the Year Awards 2022 are dairy enterprise runner-up Alan and Trish Duggan, Foxford, his parents John and Bridie, with sponsors Donal Whelton, AIB; Enda McDonald, Grassland Agro; Michael Berkery, FBD; Minister Charlie McConalogue; Aidan Brennan, Irish Farmers Journal; Professor Frank O'Mara, Teagasc director; and Liam Herlihy, Teagasc chairman. Photo: O'Gorman Photography

Mayo runner-up at Grassland Farmer of the Year awards

A MAYO farmer has been recognised at the Grassland Farmer of the Year awards, which reward the top grassland farmers in the country who are growing and utilising more grass on their farms in a sustainable manner.

Alan Duggan from Foxford was announced as the Dairy Enterprise Category runner-up of the Grassland Farmer of the Year 2022 at an awards ceremony held in Teagasc Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork. The awards were presented by the Minister for Agriculture, Charlie McConalogue.

Speaking at the awards ceremony, Minister McConalogue congratulated all the finalists on their achievements in grassland management, saying that as finalists they are joining a group of top class grassland farmers.

He commented: “It is clear that initiatives such as Grass10 and the Grassland Farmer of the Year are to the fore in helping farmers achieve the most they can from the natural resource they have on their farm, which is grass. Good management of grass clover swards is essential in meeting the targets set down in the AgClimatise Strategy.”

The Grassland Farmer of the Year awards are part of the Teagasc Grass10 Campaign which is supported by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Teagasc, AIB, FBD, Grassland Agro and the Irish Farmers Journal.

The Grass10 programme continues to focus on improving nutrient management and efficiency on farm and clover establishment and its management.

Speaking on behalf of the competition judges, Aidan Brennan, Irish Farmers Journal, said: “One thing that stood out for the judges this year was a notable shift in attitude towards developing clover on the farm and protecting the environment. This was seen as important as grass production itself and it probably reflects the changing attitude among farmers in general.

“The fact that the average grass growth among the finalists was 13.5 t DM/ha just shows that you can be very efficient while also being very sustainable.”