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John McSweeney

Name: John Mcsweeney

Location: Lissarda Co.Cork

Farm size 24.7 ha- mainly dry

System: suckler to under 16 month bull beef, dairy calf to bull beef

John runs a suckler herd of 20 cows calving in spring and purchases in 50-70 dairy bred calves annually. Progeny from his suckler cows are finished as under 16 month bulls and 20 month heifers.
The best of his dairy bred calves are killed as under 16 month bulls with the rest sold live.
John has good infrastructure and reasonably good soil fertility meaning he has the capacity to grow high volumes of grass on his farm.
He plans to expand suckler numbers to over 30 cows and buy in 50 dairy bred bull calves with all bulls finished under 16 months and heifers at 20 months.
John plans to run a high stocking rate and utilise over 15 tonne DM/ha. He will focus closely on hours worked and try to achieve a satisfactory return per hour on his farm. He achieved a gross margin of €700/ha in 2016 and aims to double this over the course of the programme


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

  • Green farming challenge - incorporate clover into 20% of swards
  • 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


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