Our Organisation Search
Quick Links
Toggle: Topics

John Dunne


Location: Portarlington, Co. Offaly

Farm Size: 113.5ha-Free draining

System: Suckler to finish


John is a full-time suckler-to-beef farmer keeping a herd of over 100 spring calving cows. Everything is brought to beef- killing both steers and heifers under 24 months.

Given such a large holding increasing the stocking rate is going to be a serious challenge on the farm. The farm is in good fettle at present, but a substantial amount of work is required to set up a proper paddock system and correct soil fertility.

Plan is to rear over 50 Hereford x Dairy calves this year to get into stock cheaply. He hopes to rear close to 100 calves each year from 2018 onwards. 

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

  • Herd health challenge - Aim to reduce antibiotic input by 20% and develop herd health plan
  • Soil fertility challenge -Aim for 70% of farm at index 3 P&K. Ph - aim for 6.1 (5.7 on peat soils)
  • Meet the markets challenge - All farms quality assured. All stock to meet processor specifications.
  • Labour/structures challenge - Labour use focus/ Drystock farm partnership focus


Read more on the challenges






IFJ Articles