Farmer Profile: Eamonn Kirk
Dundalk, Co. Louth
Teagasc Adviser: Hugh Rooney
Eamonn is farming 25ha of grassland and also has tillage on the farm. He previously finished his continental bulls at 24 months of age. He decided to move away from this system in 2014 and now plans to slaughter steers at 24-26 months of age. He has reared Angus calves in the past and last year he slaughtered bullocks off grass in June at 26 months of age. Eamonn intends to rear more calves in 2015 so he will not have to purchase any weanlings or stores in autumn 2015.
One option for Eamonn in the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme is to slaughter all steers at 24-26 months in April-June at a higher beef price. This system allows more weight to be put on at grass at a lower cost to the farmer. This will reduce stocking rates due to some animals going to grass for a third grazing season. Another option is to finish his Angus steers at lighter carcass weights off grass at the end of the second grazing season. This would allow for an increase in stocking rate on the farm. All these options will be discussed between Eamonn and the Teagasc management team. Eamonn has a high stocking rate at present and last year he directly stitched Italian ryegrass into stubble ground in September. This worked very well and allowed him to graze bullocks outside until mid-December at a very low cost. The Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme will help Eamonn increase grass utilisation, reduce costs and increase output on his farm.