Location: Clonbullogue, Co. Offaly
Farm Size: 95ha-mostly free draining
System: Organic suckler to finish
Ken is a full-time farmer. The first and only organic farm to have joined the BETTER farm programme. Ken’s farm obtained full organic status in May 2015. The farm consists of 72ha in grass, 17ha in red clover and 6 ha being sown for winter forage crops typically a kale, rape and turnip mix.
Going forward Ken hopes to produce Oats where he will supply Flahavans invariably increasing his stocking rate on the pasture ground. Ken is calving 65 cows in August and September and breeding more size into his cows is one of his long-term goals.
Soil fertility is also an issue as P and K levels are extremely low. Given his organic status it will be a tedious task building soil fertility and farmyard manure is worth an awful lot in such a system.
- 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
- Breeding challenge - Increase average replacement value of herd by €20 over course of programme and meet all herd fertility targets
- 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)
- Green farming challenge - incorporate clover into 20% of swards
- Meet the markets challenge - All farms quality assured. All stock to meet processor specifications.