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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘We see this method of farming putting more money back into the farmer’s pocket’

The spotlight will be on regenerative/conservation agriculture at a forthcoming event, Soil Dependence, hosted by BASE (Biodiversity, Agriculture, Soil, and the Environment) Ireland next month.

The body’s current acting chairperson, Norman Dunne, who we previously featured in this news article, will open the gates of his farm, in Maynooth, Co Kildare, W23V0H9, for an action-packed event on Tuesday, July 4th, 2023, with speakers, machinery demonstrations and trade stands.

Dunne, told That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane:

“The event will focus on balancing biodiversity, agriculture, soil and the environment. We will offer a day of practical learning about regenerative agriculture in Ireland.”

“We will have farmer-led discussions covering the regenerative approach, a showcase of all things to do with soil health, along with trade stands and field demos.”

“Base Ireland has just surpassed 100 members, ranging from arable, beef, sheep, dairy, and one or two horticulture.”

“Members are encouraged to be active and share their learnings in success and, more importantly, what has not been successful.”

“We meet on each other’s farms quite regularly and invite guest speakers to speak to our group. Peer-to-peer learning or farmers educating farmers.”

What is regenerative/conservation agriculture?

Regenerative/conservation agriculture, in his words, is an outcome-based food production system that nurtures and restores soil health, protects the climate and water resources and biodiversity, and enhances farms’ productivity and profitability.

Regenerative agriculture, as Dunne defined it, implies more than just sustaining something but rather an active rebuilding or regeneration of existing systems towards full health.

It also implies an open-ended process of ongoing improvement and positive transformation.

The 5 principles of regenerative farming/conservation agriculture are:

  • 1: Soil armour;
  • 2: Diversity;
  • 3: Continual live plant/root;
  • 4: Livestock integration.
  • 5: Minimising soil disturbance.

“With ever-growing price increases to agricultural inputs, we see this method of farming more resilient and putting more money back into the farmer’s pocket.”

Part two of this article will review guest speakers and the event’s format.

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