Location: Boher, Co. Limerick
Farm size: 74ha
Current System: Friesian steers (22-24 months)
Local Teagasc Advisor: Aileen Walsh
Ciaran Bartley runs a dairy calf to beef enterprise on 74ha – some of which is heavy – in Boher, Co. Limerick.
120-140 Friesian bull calves are purchased from various sources each year and are brought to beef as steers at 20-24 months. The average carcass weight achieved in 2018 was 312kg.
His farm is split into two distinctive sections – the home block, which is owned (29ha), and a leased block of 45ha.
Carrying a stocking rate of 1.85LU/ha and divided up into a number of permanent and temporary paddocks, there’s potential to increase the tonnage of grass grown by focusing on soil fertility levels.
Soil analysis completed in early 2019 indicates that 50% of the paddocks of the farm require lime, while just three paddocks are at the optimum indices for phosphorous and potassium.
As some of the farm is quite heavy and turnout can be delayed, a focus will be placed on improving silage quality. This will help to lower the variable costs associated with feeding concentrates to weanlings and finishing stock over the winter months.
In addition to the farm, Ciaran also operates a contracting business.