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Cathal Irwin

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Cathal Irwin with animalsCathal farms at Mountgordon, Westport Road, Castlebar, Co Mayo. He farms with his father Padraig, wife Bridgin and two children, Conor and Siofra. Cathal works full-time off-farm with his own business - Advanced Safety in Castlebar, Co. Mayo. Contractor is used for silage harvesting, slurry spreading, reseeding.

Cathal is farming 27.7 hectares. There is heavy clay/peaty type soils on the farm. Housing consists of a 4-bay open slatted house with 3 bays slatted and lie back area and also a 3 bay lean to shed with one pen slatted. Cathal is grass measuring and using pasturebase to record grass covers. 

He is stocked at 77kgs N/HA. Cathal runs a suckler to store beef system selling animals at 18 months. Cows are Simmental and Limousine cross and a Charlaois stock bull is used. AI is used on some heifers and some breeding heifers are bought in for breeding.

His Teagasc Advisor is Liam Quinn.

Breeding Performance

No. of cows: 20
Cow replacement index: 109
Heifer replacement index: 114
Calves per cow per year: 0.95

Cathal's Plan

Cathal's plan for the future is to stay at the same cow numbers but possibly look at finishing his own progeny - bulls at under 16 months and heifers at 22 months old. In order to do this an extra farm building may be required. Cathal also wants to look at using protected urea as his main nitrogen source while also improving soil fertility. Many of the paddocks on Cathal's farm have been reseeded in recent years and so there is a good level of clover throughout the farm. More reseeding is planned for the future and multispecies swards may be incorporated when reseeding. Cathal also wants to keep a focus on work life balance in planning for the future.