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Gerard and John Grieve


Location: Castlefin, Co. Donegal

Farm Size: 34.6ha-mostly heavy

System: Suckler to Weanling


The Grieves run a herd of 50 cows. Cow condition needs to be addressed and making top-quality silage is a must this year and over the duration of the programme. Calving later in spring could be a good option on the farm. The land type is heavy in nature and the large sheep flock means grass is very tight in March and April.

Infrastructure on the farm is excellent but soil fertility is poor. The Grieves hope to increase output moving away from the weanling system and with the housing available there’s no reason why they can’t carry more stock over the winter. However, the farm must start producing more grass in the shoulders of the year.

Mandatory Challenges

  • Two tonne grass challenge - All farms to aim to increase by 2 Tonne/DM/ha
  • Farm finance challenge - Gross margin target €1250/ha on average
  • Farm safety challenge - Farms to introduce 2 positive changes annually

Optional Challenges

  • Soil fertility challenge -Aim for 70% of farm at index 3 P&K. Ph - aim for 6.1 (5.7 on peat soils)
  • Green farming challenge - incorporate clover into 20% of swards
  • Mixed grazing challenge -Establish blueprint for successful mixed grazing on farms
  • Labour/structures challenge - Labour use focus/ Drystock farm partnership focus

Read more on the challenges


IFJ Articles

Farm update November 2017