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Thomas Bolger


Location: Borris Co.Carlow

Farm size: 53

System: Suckler to store


Tom farms full time in Borris Co.Carlow.  Land is generally good quality with a large proportion of the farm reseeded in recent years. The only investment needed in infrastructure is in a water system in the out farm.  Soil fertility is good on the farm.

Calving is quiet spread and in other to tighten it extra replacements heifers will be served to allow culling late calvers every year to keep calving tight. 

Currently there are 42 suckler cows and 150 ewes on the farm. The plan is to keep suckler numbers static and decrease the sheep flock to around 50 ewes. In order to keep the stocking rate increasing the plan is to purchase 50 dairy calves and 20 light weanlings and bring all stock to finish as steers and heifers.

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

  • Breeding challenge - Increase average replacement value of herd by €20 over course of programme and meet all herd fertility targets
  • 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.

Read more on the challenges



IFJ articles

Tom Bolger - Farm update November 2017