Oliver farms full-time with help from his children Shane and Karen in Gortnaskeagh, Leckaun, Co. Leitrim. He also runs a contracting business.
He is farming 15Ha of owned land plus 32Ha of mountain commonage. Soil type is typically heavy clay with some peaty areas adjacent to the mountain. Oliver has done a lot of reclaimation and reseeding in recent years to increase productivity.
Overall stocking rate is 104kgs/Ha, including sheep & excluding commonage. Oliver runs a primarily spring-calving system with 27 sucklers, a few of which are pedigree Limousin. Stronger males are finished as young bulls with the remainder sold as weanlings. A high replacemnt index bull is on farm to breed replacements with a terminal bull in place for the rest of the herd. A.I. is used for the first round to breed replacements and then a high terminal bull or dual purpose bull is used for the rest of the breeding season. A small flock of 40 ewes is also maintained on the farm.
The farm is divided into 10 grazing divisions which cover both cattle and sheep enterprises. A significant amount of reseeding has been carried out in recent years. There is good housing and adequate waste storage on farm.
Teagasc Advisor is Cian Condon.
No. of cows: 27
Cow replacement index: 99
Heifer replacement index: 114
Calves per cow per year: 0.72
His plan is to stay at the same cow numbers but to increase the efficiency on farm. Calves per cow per year and performance at grass are the main focus areas. Oliver also wants to look at soil fertility, using more protected urea and low emission slurry spreading while also looking at incorporating clover.