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David McLaughlin

Farmer David McLaughlin
Location Greencastle, Co. Donegal
Farm Description Good heather hill (81.5 ha) plus 99 ha of green land (adjusted to 47 ha); runs both hill and lowland sheep enterprises; suckler cow herd selling followers as weanling stores
Teagasc Advisor John Cannon

Farm Plans:

Lowland Enterprise

A detailed farm plan was drawn up for the farm and reviewed annually. A summary of details of the plan are laid out below:

Breeding policy

  • All in all out system
  • Increase ewe flock to 100 (stocking rate 11.5 ewes/ha)
  • Produce replacements from the hill flock
  • Belclare cross & Mules
  • Draft Scotch Blackface ewes for 1 lamb crop on lowland
  • Use high index Texel rams as terminal sire
  • Target output > 1.8 lambs weaned/ewe joined

Improve grassland production with emphasis on

  • Autumn closing date, grazing management, reseeding
  • Soil fertility
  • Implementing reseeding plan
  • Finish all lambs produced in the lowland flock off grass.

Flock management

  • Housing policy – address housing issues
  • Winter shearing
  • Late pregnancy nutrition – produce high DMD silage

Health

  • Implement flock health plan

Hill Enterprise

Breeding policy

  • Develop parentage
  • Cross breed ~30% of the flock using either a Belclare or Blue Leicester ram
  • Use terminal sire for clean up
  • Target output 1.20 lambs weaned/ewe joined

Grazing management

  • Increase division areas on the hill
  • Strategically use enclosed land
  • Address fertility issues on enclosed land

Flock management

  • Pregnancy scanning
  • Feeding ewes according to scan results

Health

  • Implement flock health plan