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Richard Long

Location: Ballymacarbry, Co. Waterford
Farm size: 57ha
Current System: Steer and heifer beef (20-24 months)
Stocking rate: 138kg N/ha
Beef output: 496kg/LU - 865kg/ha

Local Teagasc Advisor: Austin Flavin

Programme Advisor: Sean Cummins

Richard brings early maturing and continental calves out of the dairy herd to beef as steers and heifers at 20-24 months. This is one of the key measures in the Government's new Climate Action Plan. In the region of 100 calves are purchased each year and the breeds consist of Angus, Hereford, Limousin, Belgian Blue and Charolais.

All of the calves are sourced from his brothers’ dairy farm in Co. Tipperary. With this arrangement, there’s potential for Richard and his brothers, Michael and Liam, to work together in terms of the beef sires being used.

Grassland Management and Soil Fertility

In terms of grassland, Richard’s farm is currently stocked at 1.78LU/ha and consists of a mixture of paddocks and fields. Improvements in grassland management and soil fertolity will be targeted. 

Soil fertiliity is challenging on the farm located in the Nire. An approach of targeting the correction of soil pH, P ans K levelswill be a main target. 

The use of low-emmission slurry spreading techniques has been adpoted. Protected urea will become the main source of straight artificial nitrogen to be used on the farm over the coming years. 

Clover will also be incorporated into swards once soil fertility has been improved. Weekly grass measuring and budgeting will continue.

The focus on making excellent quality silage will contimue. A target of producing winter feedstuff with a dry matter digestibility value of 72 becoming the annual aim.

A large degree of work has been carried out over recent years in terms of constructing a central roadway and installing a paddock system on the home block. However, the outer parcels now need attention.