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Olivia Hynes March/April 2024



  • Grass is in very short supply
  • A opportunity to get fertiliser out was taken over the Easter weekend
  • Ewes supplemented with silage outdoors
  • Only 12 cows out grazing by mid April


  • 6 cows to calf
  • 25 calved cows still indoors with only 12 cows out
  • A heifer needed to be sectioned



  • Olivia has been busy planting hedges and am Ammonia capture area of 0.25ha




Grass is very tight on the farm with the average farm cover of 500kgsDM/ha. All of the ewe flock are out grazing. Olivia has only 12 calved cows out at home in Jamestown. The remainder of the calved cows plus maiden heifers are still indoors. This is far from ideal but poor ground condition combined with no grass Olivia must keep them in until grass starts to grow.

In order to slow down the rotation , good quality silage is been fed outdoors to the ewes. In addition, Olivia plans to sell 10 hoggets as the trade is excellent but to reduce the stocking rate out on the grass.

Over the easter weekend , 30 acres were covered with 1.5bags of 18.6.12 on the outfarm in Kilcash. The outfarm is low for P and K while the homefarm is at index 4 for P. As a result 23 units of protected urea will be applied there.

Photo 1 : Low grass covers. 1.5 bags of 18-6-12 was applied recently


Due to the poor weather 25 calved cows are been kept in. The calves are a month old and are well bedded in a creep area. From an animal health point of view this is not ideal but Olivia has no other option until ground dries up and grass starts to grow.

Photo 1: Calves are well bedded and will get to grass once ground conditions and grass supply improves

Photo 2: Curaheen EARP Simmental heifer

Photo 3: Matching the bull to the cow; Lapon calf off a plain cow

Photo 4: Triplet lambs reared on the automatic feeder

Photo 5: 3rd April - 12 cows and calves out on grass in Jamestown 


Along with the lambing and calving Olivia had also to plant 1700m of hedges along with 0.25ha of an Ammonia capture area which is adjacent to the slatted shed in kilcash.

This was a requirement under  Acres and had a deadline of March 31st. The whitethorn  hedge will be a welcome addition to Kilcash as the farm is open and it will provide shelter for stock. Planting hedges is a labour intensive job but luckily Olivia had help from her family.

Photo 1: Plants are in but some work yet to do

A small trench was dug with a mini digger and 5 whitethorn quicks  were planted per metre. A degradable membrane was put down over the quicks which will help to prevent weeds/grass encroaching onto the quicks and promote growth. Olivia will remove the topsoil and replace with some gravel or bark mulch and then erect and stockproof fence.

Photo 2: Ammonia capture 0.25ha

260 trees have been planted in a L shape format adjacent to the slatted shed.  The objective is to capture ammonia emissions from livestock housing or uncovered slurry stores by directing the emissions into the tree belt and through the main canopy.

Using Low Emission Slurry Spreading equipment and ensuring all slurry storage is covered greatly reduces ammonia emissions. To further reduce losses, a suitably located and managed shelterbelt woodland can provide benefits in terms of ammonia recapture. Planting small woodland blocks strategically located downwind of an ammonia source (e.g. livestock or poultry housing or uncovered slurry stores) optimises ammonia recapture. Together with greenhouse gas recapture, these shelter belts sequester carbon, support biodiversity and screen farm buildings to enhance the visual appearance of the landscape.


1. This action can be delivered on a full or split LPIS parcel. Where the action is selected on a split LPIS, it must be digitised and marked on the map submitted.

  1. The minimum depth of shelterbelt is 30 metres. The minimum parcel area is 0.18 hectares and maximum area for payment is 0.5 hectares (which includes the area of tree belt planted and the perimeter fencing).
  2. The tree belt must be fenced off to protect from livestock at least 1.5 metres out from the perimeter trees.
  3. Grass and competing vegetation must be controlled around the trees annually as required.

3. Planting of the tree belt must be completed by 31 March 2024.

5. Purchased trees must be a minimum of 60cm in height and planted at a minimum 3 metre spacing between each tree.

6. Minimum number of trees is 1 per 10m2 of tree belt area.

7. Plants must be of Irish Origin or Irish Provenance and purchased from DAFM registered professional operators.

8. All trees purchased for this action must have an accompanying plant passport and participants must ensure that they retain the plant passport(s) for the duration of the contract.

9. Plant at least 3 species from Table 1. below of which not more than 25 per cent of the total trees planted to be Scots pine.

10. Grass and competing vegetation must be controlled around the trees annually as required

11. Planting cannot take place within the vicinity of overhead wires (see Table 3. below), within 20 m of railway line(s) or within 60 m of neighbouring dwellings. The maximum distance from the livestock shed to the tree belt is 50m.

Olivia will fence off the 0.25ha in the coming weeks.