Spring Workshop 2014

“Biodiversity in Tillage” – An ITLUS Workshop



On 19 February we will hold our spring workshop and the topic of this year’s event is ‘Biodiversity in Tillage’. The topic was chosen in response to the imposition of greening obligations on the tillage sector in the new CAP from 2015 onwards.

Our workshop comprises a morning session with speakers on a range of topics and this is followed by an afternoon visit to a local tillage farm involved in enhancing biodiversity.

The agenda for the day is attached. It begins with an explanation of the reasoning for the introduction of ‘Greening’ in the new CAP. This is followed by a presentation on bees and insects with reference to recent rulings on neonicitonoids and the need for balance in the chemical control of pests. This will be followed by a presentation by Barry McMahon from UCD who will talk about the need for biodiversity with emphasis on protecting many of our bird species.

Following these we will have a presentation form two people from Syngenta who have been involved in the promotion of environmental techniques which might be regarded as more user friendly for growers. And then we will have a brief talk about real farm situations and about the usefulness of the tillage proposals in the new GLAS scheme.

After lunch we head to a mainly tillage farm close to Ferns. Here Catherine Keena from Teagasc will walk and talk us through what is being done on this farm and discuss the range of things that tillage farmers could consider to increase wildlife around their own farms and homes. It is hoped that these discussions will be wide ranging and relevant leaving everyone with useful snippets to take home.


The workshop takes place in the Millrace Hotel in Bunclody, Co. Wexford. Coffee and registration commences at 9.30am and events kick off at 10.00am. The fee for the day is €50 per person. For catering and capacity reasons we need to know attendance numbers by Monday 17 February so if you wish to attend can you text the ITLUS Secretary, Dick Fitzgerald, at 086-8530939 or e-mail rlfitzgerald1@hotmail.com




Venue:      Millrace Hotel, Bunclody.




09.30-10.00       Assembly and coffee


10.00-10.15       Introduction  ITLUS


10.15-10.45       The greening of the CAP – Why?
                            Bill Callanan, Senior Inspector, DAFM


10.45-11.30       Bees, insects and tillage farming
                            Professor John Breen, UL


11.30-12.15       What is biodiversity and why should you care about it?
                            Barry McMahon ‘
Lecturer in Wildlife Conservation & Zoonotic Epidemiology’, UCD


12.15-12.45       Lessons from Syngenta’s ‘Operation pollinator’ project
                            Geoff Coates,
Senior Agronomist Sustainable Agriculture and Stewardship, /
                            Belinda Bailey,
‘Environmental Initiatives Manager’’ Syngenta


12.45-13.00       Biodiversity on tillage farms – GLAS and the field visit.
                            Catherine Keena, Teagasc


13.00-14.00       Lunch




14.30-16.30       Farm visit – biodiversity in practice. Farm in the Ferns area.

                        Catherine Keena, Teagasc


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