Better Beef Farm Challenge In Monaghan
Wesley farms full time on around 58Ha of heavy drumlin land in Dunraymond which is located just outside Monaghan town. The farm itself is relatively fragmented and is divided over a number of different blocks. To counteract the heavy soil conditions and fragmentation a zero grazer is used at the shoulders of the year to increase grass in the diet of the priority stock. Currently Wesley is running an 80 cow, spring calving suckler herd. All of the male progeny are slaughtered as U16-month bull beef. Wesley was profiled as part of the BDGP training videos, and most of his cows and heifers are 4 or 5 stars on the Replacement Index. Replacement heifers are home bred from high index, Angus, Limousin and Simmental stock bulls with suitable surplus heifers sold for breeding, and any unsuitable heifers are slaughtered. Wesley hopes to increase cow numbers over the course of the programme. To facilitate the increase in cow numbers, improvements need to be made to grassland management and soil fertility. Ph is the biggest issue with soil fertility and over the coming months plans are been put in place to address this. Improvements in grassland management are already underway. Wesley is completing weekly grass measuring and has implemented paddocks using both temporary and permanent fencing. As a result of the grass measuring non-performing paddocks will be identified and a reseeding programme put in place.