Tom Tierney

Tom Tierney runs a 200-acre regenerative farm in county Kildare. The primary aspect of the farm is tillage production, operating under the principles of conservation agriculture – cover cropping, increasing soil organic matter, crop rotations and direct drilling. Barley, oats, wheat, beans and oilseed rape are grown on the land. Animal manure is brought in from neighbouring farms and composted on site before being spread on the land. White clover is grown as a companion crop and in field margins. Tom has been running a direct drilling system since 2015 and has observed tremendous benefits of this lower soil disturbance method for life both above and below the soil surface – “Biodiversity starts beneath our feet. The biological health of the soil plays a crucial role in increasing biodiversity.” Tom has reduced the amount of synthetic inputs required on the farm and there has been no insecticide used on the land in 6 years. Tom is continuously experimenting with different ways to produce crops in a more natural way. He has two wormery's on the farm and he makes his own bio-stimulants from vermi-juice, seaweed, molasses and silica which further build the soil biology.

There is about 30 acres of mixed forestry on the farm, 60% hardwood and 40% softwood and Tom operates a continuous cover forestry system. There are about 12 acres of conservation areas on the farm. There is an acre of wetland with naturally regenerating woodland. There are 7 acres of wildflowers on the farm and 4 acres of permanent clover. Tom is a member of BASE Ireland, he is a Teagasc Signpost Tillage Farmer and a participant in the Protecting Farmland Pollinators EIP Project.

Tom is a regenerative tillage farmer in North Kildare. He farms 180 acres. Thirty acres are used for trees and the rest is cereals. He has great interest in nature and the environment. He uses a no-till establishment system in conjunction with cover crops to improve soil health with reduced use of pesticides and chemical fertilisers. He is looking for a simpler way of farming rather than an intense, high input, high-cost regime. He has a flexible crop rotation system. He grows white clover as a companion crop and within field margins. He experiments on his farm to try to find new ways to help biodiversity within a productive farming system. He is currently allowing one field to naturally regenerate into a wildflower meadow. The aim of this regenerative experiment is to determine if this field can produce wildflowers so that the seed can be collected and used to sow on other farms in the area. He uses locally sourced mushroom compost. He is a member of BASE Ireland and is a Teagasc Signpost Tillage Farmer. He has created bee nesting sites as part of the Protecting Farmland Pollinators EIP Project. He more than tripled his whole farm pollinator score within one farming year. He has helped to promote the project and communicate what actions can be taken to help pollinators on the farm through social media, hosting farm walks and though a blog that is pending publication. Tom is looking to improve biodiversity and soil health while maintaining a productive farming system.
Nominator: Saorla Kavanagh, EIP Project Manager, National Biodiversity Data Centre

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