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Shane Cranny Farm Update July 2021

Animals have performed extremely well on the farm here since turnout. I completed a mid-season weighing on June 19 and I was very happy with how animals have throve since late February. The autumn of 2019-born steers weighed an average of 565kg, after gaining 1.39kg/head/day since February 28.

Farmer: Shane Cranny
Location: Myshall, Co. Carlow
System: 24-month Holstein Friesian steers (autumn calves)
Soil type: Free-draining
Stocking rate: 2.02LU/ha (overall farm)
Net margin (€/ha): €898

The target weight for these animals was 560kg by mid-August, so they are approximately two months ahead of where they need to be. They’ve continued to do well since weighing and I expect them to be at least another 30kg heavier at this point.

With these animals being ahead of target, I plan to draft the first batch in approximately two weeks. Walking all of these steers through the crush and handling them will allow me to get one bunch away off grass before concentrates are introduced.

Once concentrates are introduced, I’ll continue to draft on a two/three week basis. Regular drafting not only helps to reduce the overall quantity of concentrates required to finish this group, but it will reduce grass demand and allow me to build covers for the final stage of the grazing season. Building this bank of grass is important as I plan to graze the 2020-born steers into early November.

The autumn of 2020-born calves have also performed well since turnout. The dairy-bred males averaged 233kg, after gaining 0.76kg/head/day since birth and 0.83kg/head/day since turnout. These animals have been moved to after grass and, if a similar level of performance is achieved to last year, they’ll hopefully weigh 350-360kg on the first week of November.

Grassland management

The farm here is at a point in the year where demand tends to reduce significantly as silage ground has entered the grazing rotation.

In previous years, it had been challenging to keep quality grass ahead of stock on account of the lower demand. To correct this, I try to stop a certain area of the farm for bales. Although I have met the requirements of the winter fodder budget already, it’s nice to have a buffer in the yard in case next spring or summer becomes challenging.

Growth has been a little slower than I would like over the last week on account of the dry weather and if the rain didn’t arrive over the last 10 days the outlook could have been a little different.

A growth rate of 31kg/ha/day was recorded last week, while demand was running at 40kg/ha/day. Since the walk was completed, an additional 2.65ha has come back into the grazing rotation, after bales were harvested. The demand on the farm here for the week ahead will be closer to 36kg/ha/day and with heat and moisture in the ground, I’m expecting growth rates to be well ahead of this for the week ahead. I’ve seen drought-like situations on the farm here before and I know it will take at least a week after rain before any considerable improvement in growth is witnessed.

DateGrowth - kg DM/ha/dayDemand - kg DM/ha/dayDays aheadStocking rate - LU/ha
19/07/2021  31  40  11  2.46 
Animal category Weight - kg Grass intake - kg DM/head/day Meal input - kg/head/daySilage input - kg/head/day
2019-born HOFR steers  565  11.3  0
2020-born HOFR steers  233 4.6 0


I began reseeding again this year and, up to this point, five paddocks have been rejuvinated. The first half of these were completed in mid-May and are on their second grazing, while the second half were established 10 days ago and the grass seedlings are beginning to emerge.



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