Location: Milltown, Castleplunket, Co. Roscommon
Farm size: 60ha
Current System: 21-22 month Friesian bull beef
Local Teagasc Advisor: Gerard Cregg
Martin has been rearing dairy bred calves bringing them to beef for as long as he can remember. A number of years ago he was purchasing continental weanlings and store cattle along with the dairy calves and bringing them to slaughter. With dairy herds expanding and calves becoming more plentiful Martin decided to increase his dairy calf to beef enterprise while no longer buying continental bred animals. The farm consists of 60ha with 22ha being owned and 38ha leased. There is the home block and five outer blocks, however they are all within 2 miles of each other.
Martin has been purchasing 100-120 calves each year and increased to 140 calves in 2018. He has a strong relationship with four dairy farmers in the area where the majority of the calves come from. This rules out having to go to marts to source calves while at the same time gives Martin peace of mind that the calves are getting a good start in life from the dairy farmer.
The farm is stocked at 1.6LU/Ha. Paddocks are limited on the farm so Martins focus over the coming months is to implement a paddock system that will allow him increase his stocking rate over the duration of the programme. There are also plans to reseed a fraction of the farm over the coming months.
20-25 store cattle are sold off farm each year as housing space for finishing cattle is limited and Martin no plans to construct any further housing. Martin also runs a contracting business alongside the dairy calf to beef enterprise.