Ballinspittle farmer shares the many benefits of agroforestry

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BY DYLAN MANGAN

A BALLINSPITTLE farmer has started planting trees on a 2.4 ha pasture area with the aim of improving both the quality of the land and the safety on his farm.

Micheál O’Donovan and his family have a cattle and sheep farm and selected the area for silvograzing last year for their herd of lowland sheep.

The Irish Agroforestry Forum (IAF) recently organized a farm walk to help promote agroforestry and share knowledge. The farm walk was part of an agroforestry education and promotion project funded under the Forest Support Program provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Agriculture. of the Navy (DAFM). The project is currently organizing a number of events to promote the multiple benefits that trees can bring to livestock.

DAFM Inspector Eugene Curran and Teagasc Forest Advisors Tom Houlihan and Noel Kennedy were present at the event and shared their knowledge and experience in agroforestry with all attendees.

“It was a brilliant event, there’s nothing to learn but talking to the people doing it,” said Irish Agroforestry Forum member Keeley McGarr O’Brien. “It was also a good opportunity to meet other agroforestry enthusiasts!

The land in question has a steep slope and Micheál felt that planting it would bring benefits to his sheep and also improve farm safety as a tractor would no longer be used on higher ground.

Trees on pasture can provide shade, shelter, nutrients, and worm prevention when animals can browse tree leaves and also improve nutrient cycling and the overall farm environment.

Those interested in agroforestry and learning more about the benefits it can bring to their farms can register for the IAF at www.irishagroforestry.ie.

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