Location: Ballymacarbry, Co. Waterford
Farm size: 57ha
Current System: Steer and heifer beef (20-24 months)
Local Teagasc Advisor: Austin Flavin
Richard brings early-maturing and continental calves out of the dairy herd to beef as steers and heifers at 20-24 months. In the region of 100 calves are purchased each year and the breeds consist of Angus, Hereford, Limousin, Belgian Blue, Aubrac and Charolais.
All of the calves are sourced from his brothers’ dairy farm in Co. Tipperary. With this arrangement, there’s potential for Richard and his brothers to work together in terms of the beef sires being used to improve the genetic makeup of the calves.
Richard’s farm is currently stocked at 1.78LU/ha and consists of a mixture of paddocks and fields. Improvements in grassland management and soil fertility will be targeted. Soil fertility is challenging and an approach of targeting the correction of soil pH, P and K levels will be a main target.
The use of low-emission slurry spreading techniques has been adopted. Protected urea will become the main source of straight artificial nitrogen to be used on the farm over the coming years.
The focus on making excellent quality silage will continue. A target of producing a winter feedstuff with a dry matter digestibility value of >72 is becoming the annual aim.
A large degree of work has been carried out over recent years in terms of constructing a central roadway and installing a paddock system on the home block. However, the outer parcels now need attention.