September 2017

Welcome to the latest issue of the National Rural Network’s monthly newsletter for 2017. This is the newsletter for members of the NRN. The goal of the National Rural Network (NRN) 2016-2020 is to inform the broader public and potential beneficiaries about rural development policy and funding opportunities. For more see
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Second EIP-Agri Open Call Announced


EIP AGRI LogoThe Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, has announced the launch of the second of two Open Calls under the European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) Initiative and is inviting applications for funding. Projects developed under this Open Call will form part of the Department’s new ‘Locally-Led’ initiative, a measure proposed by Ireland under the Rural Development Programme 2014 – 2020. An overall funding package of €24 million has been set aside to support EIPs under these two calls.

There are two streams in the open call:
Stream A – focus on themes such as farm viability, economic performance, competitiveness, innovative technologies and sustainable forest management, food chain organisation and risk management.
Stream B – focus on themes such as agricultural landscapes, water quality, resource efficiency, biodiversity and climate change.

Expressions of Interest are invited and should be submitted by 5pm on Tuesday 31st October 2017 to

For more information and to download the application form and guidelines, visit

Source: DAFM Press Release

NRN at the National Ploughing Championship 2017

National Rural Network

Show cattle at NPC 2016Visit the National Rural Network (NRN) stand at the Ploughing from Tuesday 19th to Thursday 21st September. Find us in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine marquee, Block 3, Row 14, Stand 312.

Members of the NRN team will be on hand to answer your questions and keep you informed about funding opportunities, the latest news and case studies on EIP-Agri, LEADER, sustainability and competitiveness.

For more information, follow us on Facebook or visit

Source: NRN

NRN Website Update: New Section on EIP-Agri Focus Groups


EIP-Agri Focus Groups IconEIP-AGRI Focus Groups are temporary groups of selected experts from countries throughout the EU that focus on a specific subject, share knowledge and experiences.  These groups bring together expertise from research, advisors, farmers and the agricultural industry to collect and summarise knowledge on agricultural and forestry best practice.  Established in 2013, a number of Irish individuals have become involved in EU established EIP-AGRI Focus Groups and the National Rural Network (NRN) have identified a number that may be of interest to our members.

Visitors to the EIP-AGRI page on the NRN website will find a new section focusing on EU EIP-AGRI Focus Groups that have an Irish involvement.  These include Irish farmer, William Considine, whose EIP-AGRI Focus Group examined Agro-Forestry and Patrick Forrestal, a Teagasc Scientist who took part in a Focus Group on Nutrient Recycling.

If you are interested in finding out about Irish involvement in EU EIP-AGRI Focus Groups visit our website

Source: NRN

Burren Sustainable Agriculture Workshop

High Nature Value Farming

Minister Creed with Burren Life teamThe NRN was represented, at a workshop examining the future of High Nature Value Farming in the Burren, by Dr. Maura Farrell and Dr. Therese Conway. The workshop, which took place on 13th July in Kilfenora, examined issues impacting on the social and economic future of Burren farmers and was therefore relevant to the ongoing work of the NRN. The overarching aim of the workshop was to agree the long-term vision of farming for conservation in the Burren going forward, for the next 20-50 years.  Such considerations are at the heart of The Burren Programme, a locally-led measure supported under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, which incorporates support for a number of non-productive investments linked to the achievement of agri-environment-climate objectives.  Pictured is Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D. with members of the Burren team.

Attendees worked in groups to discuss central social, political, cultural, economic and environmental aspects to achieving the vision. Participating in the workshops were representatives from the farming community, local enterprises, tourism, Clare County Council, NUI Galway, the NRN, the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine among others.

Read the full seminar report here.

Source: NRN

Exciting Food Innovation Developments for Galway and the West of Ireland


Fruit jamIn July 2017, an enthusiastic crowd of over sixty individuals, including food producers, farmers, the National Rural Network and NUI Galway, attended the consultation workshop on developing a Food Innovation & Incubation Centre in Galway.

The workshop, hosted by Teagasc in Athenry, was organised by a collaboration of agencies developing the venture, including the Galway Roscommon Education and Training Board (GRETB), Galway County Council, Teagasc, Galway Local Enterprise Office and SCCUL enterprise centre. The organisers sought the input of participants on their opinions and views on the food industry across Galway and their vision for the new project.

The Food Innovation and Incubation Centre is envisaged to support fledging food ventures. For the full blog on this event, visit

Source: NRN

Grass Measuring Good for the Environment, Good for Farm Profits


Christopher White from  Naul North Co. Dublin using a plate meter to measure grassThe Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) has recently added grass measuring tools to the Targeted Agricultural Modernisation Scheme (TAMS), with grants of up to 60% available.

The initiative is aimed at assisting farmers in adopting better technologies, particularly in relation to grass utilisation. It is estimated that even on intensive farms, better management of grass could contribute to huge savings both in terms of feed costs and reduced inputs.

The photo shows Christopher White from Naul, North Co. Dublin using a plate meter to measure grass. The rising plate meter electronically measures the height and density of the grass. All data collected is transmitted via Bluetooth to a smart device, which calculates precisely the amount of grass available in each paddock. This ensures better and more efficient grass use and, most importantly, assists in planning future feed requirements.

More information is available on the DAFM website:

Source: NRN

Get your Carbon Navigator Completed!


Carvon Navigator FormParticipants in the Beef Data Genomics Programme II (BDGP II) must complete the Carbon Navigator and BDGP training before 31 October 2017.

The Carbon Navigator is a bespoke online package, developed by Bord Bia and Teagasc, to assist farmers in measuring and reducing their carbon footprint. The main advantage is that in most cases there are big gains for the environment and substantial cost savings, which increases profitability for the farmer.

The Carbon Navigator must be completed with an approved advisor who will be paid directly by DAFM for its completion. There is no cost to the BDGP II participant.

A full list of approved advisors are available on the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine website

For BDGP II approved participants, the mandatory BDGP training course must also be attended by 31 October 2017. Teagasc, who won the contract to provide the training, will contact participants inviting them to courses. It is very important that participants complete the Carbon Navigator and attend the training course by the deadline, as failure to do so will result in disqualification from the Beef Data and Genomics Programme II.

Source: NRN

Responsible Control of Rats and Mice! 

Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use

Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide UseWith the autumn advancing and the harvest nearing completion, infestations of rodents is on the increase, which can cause damage, soiling and wastage in stored crops and pose a real threat to human and animal health on the farm.

Good control measures are essential and farmers have traditionally used a wide array of rodenticides to control the annual threat, but one of the requirements of the GLAS scheme is that participants should comply with the Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use (CRRU) in their daily farming activities in order to reduce incidences of unintended poisoning of wildlife. Rare birds of prey such as the Red Kite or the Barn Owl are particularly affected.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine has distributed the CRRU booklet, ‘Effective control of pests on farms’, to over 140,000 farms. Dr Mark Lynch Chairman of the initiative says “We are pleased that the awareness of the risk has increased, and progress has been made”. The booklet can be downloaded at

Source: NRN


Upcoming Targeted Funding Calls under the LEADER Programme 2014-2020