Location: Cordal, Castleisland, Co.Kerry
Farm Size: 41 ha
System: Suckler to weanling
James Flaherty is farming with help from his father John near Castleisland in Kerry. The farm carries 40 suckler cows with weanlings sold in the autumn.
The herd used to run a number of pedigree parthenaise cows but these are being phased out with a focus on commercial sucklers for the future. The farm is fragmented with some of the leased land needing attention to address grass quality and soil fertility issues. The farm is hoping to move into finishing its own stock in future with cow numbers increasing to 50 within a tight calving spread.
No increase in land base is anticipated with the aim being to grow more grass off existing land. James makes all baled silage with a focus on quality rather than quantity.
Some development work may be needed to convert sheds to house finishing stock. With James working off farm also , focus on labour efficiency is required.
- Two tonne grass challenge - All farms to aim to increase by 2 Tonne/DM/ha
- Farm finance challenge - Gross margin target €1250/ha on average
- Farm safety challenge - Farms to introduce 2 positive changes annually
- Herd health challenge - Aim to reduce antibiotic input by 20% and develop herd health plan
- Soil fertility challenge -Aim for 70% of farm at index 3 P&K. Ph - aim for 6.1 (5.7 on peat soils)
- Labour/structures challenge - Labour use focus/ Drystock farm partnership focus