Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

Derrypatrick Herd

Current projects: 1) The effect of sire index (high replacement vs high terminal index) and animal genotype on the productivity of pasture-based beef production systems. 2) To evaluate the effect of incorporating white clover into perennial ryegrass swards on sward production, grass utilisation, clover persistency and animal performance in pasture-based beef production systems

Purpose and Objectives

  • To explore new ideas and research different system comparisons using a herd of 100 suckler cows in a finishing system on 65 Ha at Teagasc, Grange.
  • To provide leadership and direction to the industry and look to the future for issues that will arise and how the national suckler herd can deal with them

Production System

  • Spring-calving, suckler calf-to-beef.
  • Rotational paddock grazing.
  • Stocking rate: 200 kg organic N/ha.
  • Fertiliser Nitrogen: ~200 kg/ha.
  • 2 silage harvests – first cut fed to progeny and second cut fed to cows.
  • Slaughter age: Heifers @ 20 months and Steers @ 24 months.


The primary inputs and outputs to the system will be determined. Where appropriate, the main measurements will include:


  • Live weight and body condition score
  • Intake of grazed grass and conserved forage (& supplementary concentrate)
  • Fertility
  • Milk yield
  • Calving interval
  • Slaughter and carcass traits of progeny

Sward / forage:

  • Pre- & post-grazing compressed sward heights
  • Pre- & post-grazing herbage mass
  • Pre- & post-grazing herbage dry matter, chemical composition and nutritive value
  • Herbage growth
  • Farm cover
  • Grass silage yield
  • Grass silage nutritive value
  • Annual feed budget constitution (system component basis).


  • Financial performance/profitability of the breed types and systems

John Heslin Researcher and Liam Mc Weeney Research Technician have responsibility for the herd.

Future Research in Derrypatrick