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John O'Connell

Farmer John O'Connell
Location Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim
Farm Description 34 ha of grassland in 2 divisions. Mid-season lambing sheep enterprise and beef enterprise which is currently changing from a suckler cow system towards contract rearing dairy heifers.
Teagasc Advisor Tom Coll


Farm Plan

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

  • Increasing ewe flock to 200 ewes plus replacements
  • Breed ewe lambs
  • Use prolific sires to increase production
  • Develop a maternal/terminal reciprocal cross
  • Target output of >1.6 lambs weaned/ewe joined from ewe flock


  • Address soil fertility issues
  • Improve grazing infrastructure – permanent and temporary divisions
  • Reseeding  policy
  • Grass measuring and budgeting – using Pasturebase

Flock Management

  • Increase stocking rate
  • Address winter housing issues
  • Improve handling facilities
  • Improve silage quality
  • Target nutritional management
  • Defined winter management plan


  • Implement flock health plan