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.
- 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
- 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 - 27 May 2017(PDF)
- IFJ - 04 Nov 2017(PDF)