Farmer Profile: Michael Ryan
Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
Teagasc Adviser: Paul Gibney
Michael is currently farming 40ha of good quality land. He began rearing calves on his farm 5 years ago after a bad outbreak of TB and last year he bucket fed 91 Angus and Hereford heifers. He works full time and needs a system in place that is straight forward and profitable. Our plan for Michael in the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme is that all the heifers will be slaughtered off grass at 19-20 months in the autumn. This means they will not go back into the shed for a second winter thus reducing costs. Up to now these stock have been rehoused for that second winter. This will be a challenge but through reseeding old grassland, increased utilisation of grass and putting in a new paddock system this will be achieved. These heifers have to be gone before the second winter as Michael has only enough shed space to carry his 100 weanlings.
There may be an option in later years to build a shed. This will depend if grants are available and the overall cost of the shed is justifiable. When the new paddocks are in place and reseeding is complete Michael hopes to increase stocking rate which will increase output. Michael is very enthusiastic about measuring grass on the farm and this will pay dividends for him in the future. He works off farm and getting a simple system in place that works for him is crucial to give him time with his family.