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Olivia Hynes May/June 2023



  • Tight on grass – the dry spell slowing growth
  • 40 acres of silage is cut
  • Redshank takes over the reseeded field


  • Synchronisation programme and AI used on the maiden heifers
  • Good submission rates of the mature cows to AI
  • Using AI allows for a great selection of bulls
  • The bull comes in to mop up in June




The beginning of May was wet and with the average, grass cover low from April – grass struggled to get going. Eventually when the heat arrived growth rates of up to 45kgs/DM/ha were recorded in June – the first time growth exceeded demand. Growth has now slowed as a result of the lack of rainfall   As the sheep flock are mainly kept in Kilcash – this part of the farm is finding it hard to increase the average farm cover (AFC)

As can be seen from the graph below, AFC in Kilcash is only 382kgs DM/ha by the third week in June. This needs to increase in July and August in order to have grass for ewes prior to mating.

As the AFC is low –grass growth is also poor as it takes “grass to grow grass” ie AFC needs to be above 500kgsDM/ha. Olivia has taken some steps to reduce grass demand . The lambs have been weaned and any lamb fit for slaughter has been sold. The ewes are tightened up and will graze down covers to 3.5cm.

There has been some thundery downpours of late so Olivia will blanket spread 20 units of Protected urea/acre as soon as possible. It will be important to get sulphur with the urea in this dry spell.

40 acres of silage was June on June 8th in good dry weather. Due to the dry spell Olivia took the advice not to apply slurry or fertiliser . As soon as there is sufficient rain fall, Olivia will get slurry applied to this area which will be brought from Jamestown by the local contractor.

Reseeding update

An area of ground that was in Wild Bird Cover under Glas was tilled in early May and a sheep mix grass seed was sown . The dry weather slowed germination and when the showers of rain  came in June , the weed redshank took off. Olivia will spray immediately with a post-emergence spray- Clovermax. This spray will also kill seedling docks, thistles while protecting the clover.

Picture 1: Redshank - takeover!


Breeding started May 10th , Olivia ‘s system is targeting the export sales in late Autumn so AI is used in order have a team of high value terminal bulls to choose from. Close to 30 cows have been inseminated with BB  (Delure) and CH bulls (Lapon and Orbi). 

AI BULLTerminal Index €Carcase weight (kg)Calving diff %
Delure (BB) 122 +34.2 13.1
Lapon (CH) 160 +41.8 6.8
Orbi (CH) 145 +40.5 3.93

The bull Delure is used on the plainer, mature cows as the calving difficulty is high while the easier calving CH bulls are used on the LMX cows.

On the early calved cows that have good maternal traits, Olivia used the simmental bull Earp. Any females will be retained for replacements. 

Picture 2: A vasectomised bull is used for heat detection 

Breeding the maiden heifers

This year Olivia followed a synchronization programme on  12heifers; The following protocol was followed;

Day 0: Incert CIDRS

Day 5:  6pm 2ml of Estrumate given

Day 6: CIDRS taken out plus 2ml of Estrumate

Day 8: 6pm AI Heifers plus 2ml of Estrumate

The Lm bull Proper was used. He can be used on heifers and is a dual purpose LM bull.

In total 42 cows and heifers have been AI’d and the LM stock bull is now running with the cows. Olivia will continue to AI any heifer that repeats as the LM bull is not suitable for heifers . Scanning will take place next month.