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William farms with his wife Diana and son Mark in Inchingerig, Drimoleague, Co. Cork. He farms part-time and works full-time off farm.
William is farming 28.13ha of owned land in two blocks. The soil is a mineral soil. The land is largely south facing. The farm is approximately 86m above sea level in the first block of land and 72m above sea level in the second block of land. The average rainfall for the area is 39 inches annually.
The current stocking rate on the farm is 162kgs N/HA. William runs a suckling to beef system consisting of 33 continental cross bred cows, 72% of the herd is Autumn Calving and the remaining 28% are Spring calving. The males are finished as under 16 months bull beef, while the heifers, not retained for breeding, are finished at 22 months. William uses 100% A.I. to allow him to use the best genetics available.
The farm is fairly well paddocked with 16 main divisions on the farm with the ability to split fields with temporary fencing. Having plenty of well placed water troughs is key to allowing paddocks to be split. There are six silage fields. Central roadway divides the fields in the grazing block. Silage is largely produced in the first block of land, where the slatted shed is located.
There are two farmyards. The slatted unit, silage pit is located on the first block. The housing facilities in the second yard needs some upgrading and this work is planned for 2021/2022.
No. of cows: 33
Cow replacement index: 102
Heifer replacement index: 122
Calves per cow per year: 1.01
The plan is to go to all autumn calving, to increase cow numbers close to 40 while also increasing the efficiency of every animal on the farm. Calves per cow per year is already very good, the performance at grass and in that first winter is where the main focus will be on the cattle. William also wants to look at soil fertility. Once he soil tests the whole farm he will know what that entails. He will use more protected urea and low emission slurry spreading.