Jack Browne

Jack is a 3rd generation farmer in Co. Carlow. He is a young tillage farmer who has incorporated agroforestry and permaculture design into his near 40 hectare (100 ac) farm. Around 3 hectares (7 ac) is under Native Woodland. He is certified organic, selling oats to Tirlán, aswell as producing hay and silage. Having taken on the farm in 2020, he participated in an EIP project with Trees On The Land to become a demonstration site for silvoarable systems, incorporating 3000 trees into his tillage system. His focus is on growing food crops rather than feed crops, and has created a ‘low input, premium output’ system by planting fruit and nut trees on his farm. Previously being a monocrop farm, he has sown 12 hectares (30 ac) of multispecies swards to build fertility which he says has ‘lead to an explosion of biodiversity on the farm, the amount of bird life that came back was unbelievable" Building on the trees he has already planted, he is experimenting with min till methods which is a part of ACRES and hoping to expand the amount of land under agroforestry into the future.

NOMINATOR: Stephen Meredith, Irish Organic Association
Jack Browne, a young organic farmer near Tullow in Co. Carlow, would be an inspiring addition to the Farming for Nature Ambassador Network. He farms about 40 ha (100 ac) of organic stockless tillage and agroforestry. His farm management has a strong emphasis on improving the structure and the microbiology of his soils through organic crop rotations, diverse ranges of cover crops, the cultivation of multi-species and recycling of organic manures. Jack is also working on applying minimum tillage approaches within his rotation to reduce soil cultivation, which can help to further support soil habitats and enhance ecological functions. Jack is passionate about forestry with a native woodland plantation on the farm. More recently he has developed a silvoarable agroforestry system. In total approximately 2,000 trees have been integrated into part of his arable land. The agroforestry system consists of eight rows of trees, with 24-metre crop alleyways in between, across a 27-hectare field. The species of trees are a mixture of native and exotics, including hazel, walnut, sweet chestnut, apple, pear, plum, peach, cherry, quince, medlar, mulberry, crab apple, elder, alder, oak, scots pine, birch, hawthorn, and willow. The agroforestry system is designed not only to complement his organic tillage enterprise in terms of providing a shelter belt and nutrient recycling but also to encourage wildlife corridors within the farmed landscape. With silvoarable systems in their infancy in Ireland, Jack has been happy to share his experiences of his organic tillage and agroforestry system through farm walks and interviews with the farming media. His interest and enthusiasm for farming with biodiversity would be a great candidate for the Farming for Nature Ambassador Network.

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