Grassland Farmer of the Year 2017
Overall Winner - Eddie O'Donnell
Eddie O'Donnell and his father Denis farm 116 hectares outside the village of Golden in south Tipperary. In 2017 they milked 318 cows giving a stocking rate of 2.75cows/ha on the milking blocks. There is excellent grazing infrastructure with 5m wide roadways and two 300 gallon water troughs in each paddock. Eddie's goal is to grow enough grass to stock the herd at 3cows/ha and to porduce enough winter feed from within the system.
Eddie also won the Dairy Enterprise Award
Beef enterprise award - Gerard Dineen
Farming in Kilnamartyra, Macroom, Co Cork Gerard is a suckler farmer finishing all bulls to beef. In 2017 he had 60 cows and 15 in-calf heifers. He farms full time on 31ha, 10ha of this is an out farm. Farm output is high at 999kg liveweight per hectare. He finishes bulls using 1.2t of meal, this is less than half of what he used before he started measuring grass.
Sheep enterprise award - Peadar Kearney
Peadar is farming 27ha of good land in two blocks at Tallanstown Co. Louth. The home farm is 10ha and there is a leased outfarm of 16ha. In 2017 he had 330 ewes, giving a stocking rate of 12.2 ewes/ha. This year Peadar expects to have a surplus of silage, this is a big change from four years previous when he bought in all his silage. This excellent turnaround is due to the serious focus he has put on growing more grass. In 2016 15.5t/ha of grass was grown on the farm
Young Grassland Farmer of the Year - Tim Crowley, Clancoolbeg, Bandon, Co. Cork
Leinster region winner - The Heffernan Family, Caherleske, Dunnamaggin, Co. Kilkenny
Munster region winner - Francis Clune, Newgrove, Tulla, Co. Clare
Connaught / Ulster region winner - Jimmy & Edward Payne, Ballymoe, Castlerea, Co Roscommon