Location: Castledermot, Co. Kildare
Farm size: 70ha
Current System: 19-24 month heifer and steer beef
Local Teagasc Advisor: Christy Watson
Peter is farming 70ha of dry land on the Kildare/Carlow border. Up until 2008 was running a suckling to beef and sheep enterprise on the farm. He got involved in a local farmers market where he was selling his own beef and lamb. With the market doing well Peter decided to sell his sheep and purchased extra dairy calves.
Peter started off with 25-30 calves and has increased numbers up to 120 calves in 2018. A mixture of spring and autumn calves are purchased in order to have beef available through-out the year. The suckler cow numbers have been reduced to 25-28 spring calving cows.
The majority of calves on the farm are Aberdeen Angus and Hereford with some Friesian bull calves.
The farm is in two blocks with 60.5 ha at home and 9.5 ha on an outer block with a stocking rate of 2.43LU/Ha. There are a number of paddocks already on the farm however Peter has plans to divide up the rest of the farm also.
A small amount of tillage is grown on the farm (18 ha) which includes barley, maize and beet. Red start is also sown and used to out-winter weanlings on the farm.
The majority of Angus and Hereford cattle are killed between 19 -22 months with the Friesian cattle slaughtered at 24-26 months of age.
Peter takes on an agricultural student each spring on the farm and also has help from his son at the weekends.