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JP Hammersley

Location: Lattin, Co. Tipperary

Farm size: 37ha

Current System: Friesian steers (22-24 months)

Local Teagasc advisor: Joe Hand

Recent update: Farm Update September 2021

Farming in Lattin, Co. Tipperary, JP Hammersley runs a system where British Friesian bull calves are brought to beef as steers at 22-24 months.

With full-time work commitments off farm, JP’s aim is to run the farm as efficiently as possible in terms of the labour required for day-to-day operations. He targets a labour input of an average of 20 hours per week across the year.

Calves are purchased from local dairy farms and arrive in batches of 12. This has worked well for JP over the years, as he knows he’s buying a healthy calf from a known source.

The Tipperary native previously operated a system where all animals were grazed for a third season at grass. Through improvements in animal performance, slaughtering now occurs at 22-24 months. The move to an earlier finish has facilitated JP to increase the number of calves reared annually, now standing at 80 each year.

JP has increased the stocking rate on the farm since 2015 – climbing from 1.4LU/ha to 2.14LU/ha. At the same time, considerable improvements have been made in terms of the housing infrastructure available, while a reseeding programme has been implemented to improve the quality of the grass present in his 45 paddock system.

Clover plays an important role on JP’s farm and stitching will continue to reduce chemical nitrogen inputs and improve pasture quality. Through JP’s focus on sustainability – both environmental and labour - he was awarded a Grassland Merit Award as part of the 2020 Grassland Farmer of the Year Competition.