Teagasc Board Meeting Minutes (Teagasc Authority) for the Years 2022 and 2023 YTD

FOI Ref. 230716

Meeting Minutes

Ballyvadin Farm

Contract Heifer Rearing

Ashtown Authority

Signpost Advisory Campaign

Inclusion and diversity

The potential availability of land for afforestation in the Republic of Ireland

Irish Forestry 2015, Vol. 72

An analysis of land resources to assess “the potential availability of land for afforestation in the Republic of Ireland” was performed in 2013 with the aim of providing an understanding of the potential land resources that could potentially be available for forestry to achieve government afforestation targets (see attached paper Farrelly and Gallagher 2016)

Peer reviewed paper in pdf format, land availability forestry 2013 supporting document and map output in GIS gridded data format (ESRI grid).

Note: some of the input data used in this analysis is already in the public domain and available on line (through Teagasc and NPWS map portals) and some of the data is not, as it has been made available from OSI under national mapping agreement and other data agreements with Forest Service

A note on the potential availability of land for afforestation in the Republic of Ireland

An analysis of land resources to assess “the potential availability of land for afforestation in the Republic of Ireland” was performed in 2013 with the aim of providing an understanding of the potential land resources that could potentially be available for forestry to achieve government afforestation targets (see attached paper Farrelly and Gallagher 2016).

The analysis was based on developed spatial analysis techniques involving a range of datasets representative of landuse in Ireland, which were available from a range of National mapping agencies under licence agreement (e.g. Ordnance Survey Ireland, Navtech, etc.) in Table 1, Farrelly and Gallagher (2016). Some of the inputs utilised in the analysis are in the public domain and available on line (soils, sub-soils, landcover, etc.) at http://gis.teagasc.ie/soils/map.php and some of them, are subject to specific request for national responsible agencies (e.g. Forest Service, DAFM).

The data utilised for the analysis represented the best source of data available for the study at the time of preparation in 2012. Some data are subject to limitations of scale, with scales varying from 1:50,000 to 1: 500,000, the latter for published soil maps. Some of the input datasets used are time and date specific, being representative of agricultural land use and soil survey from the mid to late 1900’s https://www.teagasc.ie/environment/soil/soil-maps/ The landcover and habitat maps utilised are based on landsat data taken in 1995,  these are perhaps obsolete and are being superseded by new maps (e.g. OSI prime II, see https://webapps.geohive.ie/mapviewer/index.html which may be subject to continuous updating and revision.

Additional data some of which was not used in the original study is available which may have potential to modify some of the results of the 2013 study. Additional forests have been planted, new environmental designations, county development plans, etc. would all have implications to land availability for forestry.

The spatial analysis performed in this study was intended to be utilised for tabular reporting and not for the production of map based data and the resulting raster dataset G&R_LA2013 is presented at 1 x 1km in ESRITM grid format and categories are described below.

The use of such maps at finer scales can cause misunderstanding and misrepresent the level of accuracy and detail of mapping of input datasets and are not suitable for use at a field or site level.

The interpretations derived from this map does imply suitability for afforestation, and does not eliminate the need for due process in the application for afforestation which are subject to DAFM guidelines and which are administered on a case by case basis subject to onsite sampling, testing, and detailed study of habitats, guidelines commensurate with Forest Service procedures for afforestation grant aid. Users are responsible for the appropriate application of this map.

Attribute fields

1Utilised land
2Unsuitable land
3Protected land
4Land most likely to have potential for forestry
41*Land suitable for productive agricultureab
42*Land marginal for economic agricultural productionab
412*As 41, but is fishery sensitiveb
413*As 42, but is fishery sensitiveb

b Productive and marginal are defined by Gardiner and Radford – soil associations and their land use potential, An Foras Taluntais, Dublin.

bc Application of appropriate screening of forestry applications in fishery sensitive areas may be subject locally applicable

* Application for afforestation licenses is administered on a case by case basis subject to onsite sampling, testing, and detailed study of habitats and other appropriate assessments and guidelines commensurate with Forest Service procedures for afforestation grant aid.


Download paper in full

Mapping data


NMP Online: Teagasc Nutrient Management Planning (NMP) System

NMP Online is an online web application that allows Agricultural Advisors to prepare Nutrient Management Plans required for farm management purposes.

These plans are required both to show compliance with regulations and as a criteria for participation in farm management schemes.

NMP Online has met the requirements for Nutrient Management Planning (NMP); for participation in the GLAS Scheme and for submission of the NMP element of the Nitrates Derogation application. 

It has been developed to handle the complex legislative and compliance framework that governs the management of nutrients and protection of waters.

The system is used by more than 850 farm advisors nationwide, who now have more than 250k plans on the system for 60k farmers.

The NMP online system was developed by Teagasc in conjunction with Compass Informatics Ltd, starting in 2014. It has continuously evolved since, to comply with changing legislation and to introduce new features.

Technical Overview of NMP:

  • NMP web application instance (including ArcGIS and the ArcGIS API for JavaScript)
  • Batch import of soil sample data  (currently XML files exported from a Laboratory Information Management System to a network location) into the NMP database
  • Batch load, parse, validate Client data (currently XML files exported from Teagasc CRM to a network location) process and load into NMP database and log results.  This includes creating new clients and the update of client information where updates have been made to existing clients.
  • Interface with Teagasc User Authentication System (A&A) to authenticate users logging into NMP.
  • Interface with Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM) webservices (including downloading and uploading of information)
  • Interface with OSI MapGenie
  • Annual import of LPIS data (land parcel GIS data) from Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM)
  • NMP Mobile apps (IOS and Android and associated web service).

Reporting functionality:

• NMP produces the following bespoke reports, selectable from a Plan:
o Farmer Short
o Farmer Full
o Farmer Fertiliser
o Derogation
o Records
• Custom Map based reports in PDF from Map Viewer
• A PDF is created using a HTML to PDF parser (IronPDF)
• A soil sample report facility is also available with allows for a more dynamic type of reporting on soil samples
• Export of data to Excel

GIS functionality:
• ArcGIS API for JavaScript V4
a. API V4.x config via Nuget package
b. JSON configuration files for each of the map viewers (a) Land setup, (b) Farm Specific Features & (c) General Plan map viewer
c. Style widget icons and CSS (colour theme)
d. Layerlist layers for each of the viewers
e. MXDs for styling, labels etc.

• Land Setup digitisation
a. Digitisation widget
b. Plot Splitting functionality via Widget
c. Plot Combine functionality via Widget

• Farm Specific Features digitisation
a. Digitisation widget

• General Farm Viewer Print functionality
a. Custom print widget
b. Styling, user instructions & feedback area managed via widgets


Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine (DAFM):
Information required for the Teagasc NMP system is provided to Teagasc using a DAFM Webservice hosted in DAFM. The webservice supports the following operations:
• Download of NMP Profile consisting of land parcels for the Herd. Only the Agent associated with an applicant are permitted to download their data from DAFM.
• Check that Agent has authorisation from Applicant to transfer to their Agency. The Agent receiving the plan has an active association to the applicant for the BPS or GLAS schemes.
• Upload of GLAS and/or Nitrates plan data. The Agent performing the upload of a GLAS plan must be registered with DAFM as a GLAS Agent.
• Bulk Parcels/Shapes data transferred periodically to NMP. Contains anonymised ParcelShape information. The Land Unit Number (LNU) is be used to link the Teagasc and DAFM systems.

The attached tender document gives some sample screenshots to illustrate functionality and data fields

Download more screenshots here:

NWP Demo

File name is NMP_Demo.mp4 view here:


Note: Where a new or amended NMP is submitted in 2022, only a plan produced by the Teagasc Online Nutrient Management Plan programme or the Farm Eye Nutrient Management Plan programme is acceptable.

Alternative to NMP Online

The Farmeye NMP (nutrient management plan) portal has been approved by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine as an alternative to the Teagasc system for preparation of compliance-based NMPs such as derogation plans.

Also see


Teagasc ASSAP External Review Report 2021

Draft River Basin Management Plan 2022-2027 notes that “clarity is needed on the future role and scope of ASSAP”

As a result, an assessment of the programme is currently being prepared by Teagasc to be carried out by a panel of external experts.”

The assessment will review, examine, evaluate, comment and report on the rationale, efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability of ASSAP to date, along with recommendations for the future and its role and objectives under the third-cycle plan.

The assessment is due for completion before the end of 2021 and in time to influence any specific requirements for inclusion in the next plan.

ASSAP is also looking at ways of capturing data and actions from the advice given to farmers, especially spatial data, while retaining farmer confidentiality

AIE: copy of submissions to consultants and copy of final (13/3/22)

Note: fastest turnaround on an AIE ever, under 24hours !

External Expert Assessment of the Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme (ASSAP)

Membership of the Review Panel:
Chair: Prof Rory O’Donnell (Geary Institute, University College Dublin);
Dr Matt Crowe (former Director EPA);
Prof Phil Jordan (Professor of Catchment Science, Ulster University);
Mr Harold Kingston (dairy farmer and Munster Regional Chair of the Irish Farmers Association);
Dr Trish Murphy (Inishowen Rivers Trust);
Ms Orlaith Tynan (Head of Sustainability, Dairygold)

Steering Group:
Joe Crockett Dairy Sustainability Ireland
Billy Cronin Dairygold
Ray Spain LAWPRO
Carol McCarthy LAWPRO
Karl Cashen Tipperary Co Council
Colin Byrne DHLGH
Graham McGovern DHLGH
Donal Grant DHLGH
Jack Nolan DAFM
Bernard Harris DAFM
Jenny Deakin EPA
Mary Gurrie EPA
Pat Murphy Teagasc
Noel Meehan Teagasc

High-Level Findings and Recommendations

1. Develop and expand ASSAP: ASSAP should be further developed under the 3rd RBMP, expanding as additional PAAs are selected, with appropriate scientific support. Communications expertise should be engaged to consider naming, branding and promotional issues.
2. ASSAP should continue to focus primarily on water quality in the PAAs: Its objectives should be simplified to focus more on supporting farmers’ implementation of the right actions in the right place and demonstration of their impact on water quality.
3. Funding to support farmers’ implementation of Actions: Financial support, external to the ASSAP, needs to be available to enable farmers implement agreed actions recommended by ASSAP advisors.
4. Enhance the mainstream advisory services: The further development of ASSAP needs be accompanied by an accelerated enhancement and refocusing of the mainstream advisory services (both public and private) with a stronger focus on sustainability (economic, social and environmental) and on-farm and action-based engagement.
5. Continuous diagnostic review: the diagnostic flow-chart, designed jointly by ASSAP and LAWPRO staff, should be adopted formally as a tool for short-cycle assessment, review of progress in a PAA and identification of necessary network partners.
6. Spatial recording of recommendations and actions: ASSAP, supported by its partners organisations, should complete the move towards spatial recording of recommendations and actions taken.
7. Safe spaces to enhance transparency of the right actions in the right place and their impact: Use selected waterbodies as a safe space to explore and refine demonstration of the right actions in the right place and their impact on water quality.
8. Catchment-scale engagement, capacity building and planning: work to enhance the strength and capacity of catchment-level networks, so that catchment protection and management becomes embedded.
9. Funding of ASSAP: maintain the balance of funding from government and industry as ASSAP expands, keeping the relative contribution of each under review.
10. Demonstrating impact, informing policy and research: ASSAP should work with partner organisations to inform policy learning and research projects that are appropriate to experimental governance, linking iterative monitoring and review to higher-order long-term validation of the cumulative results of the overall approach to water governance.

Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme (ASSAP) Interim Report #1 | 2018 – 2019

The first Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme (ASSAP) interim report focuses on the establishment and implementation of the ASSAP in 2018 and interaction with farmers up until the 31st December 2019. The ASSAP programme is a key part of a wider government and community effort to improve water quality in 190 selected water bodies around the country by reducing agricultural and non-agricultural pressures.

The ASSAP advisory service is a sectoral/industry wide collaborative approach to improving water quality in Ireland. Established as part of Ireland’s 2nd River Basin Management Plan (RBMP), it has adopted a changed philosophy from the regulatory ‘one size fits all’ approach towards a new engagement based approach with farmers.