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Beef Newsletter - October 2021

This month's Beef Newsletter includes information on: Autumn 2021 – improve your soil pH; Research Update - The Teagasc Grange Derrypatrick Herd; Preparing dairy-beef weanlings for winter housing; Climate actions for October; Badger watch; and Health & Safety.

View it here: Beef Newsletter - October 2021 (PDF)

In this month's edition:

  • Autumn 2021 – improve your soil pH
    September 2021 has been largely favourable in terms of weather, with a long dry spell at the start of the month resulting in ground conditions being much better than in the previous two years. This is an ideal opportunity to aim to improve soil pH.
  • Research Update - The Teagasc Grange Derrypatrick Herd
    The Derrypatrick Herd is a suckler beef research herd based at Teagasc Grange. The current experiment is comparing the performance of the progeny of sires divergent in maternal traits. The herd is predominantly Limousin and Simmental crossbreeds, with replacement heifers purchased as weanlings the autumn prior to breeding.
  • Preparing dairy-beef weanlings for winter housing
    October is an important month on calf-to-beef farms. Practices need to be implemented to ensure that animals are free of stress and healthy prior to making the transition from an outdoor to a confined environment.
  • Climate actions for October
    • Check out your Bord Bia farmer feedback report for your carbon footprint figure
    • Apply lime to low pH grassland and crop soils
    • Allow topped hedges grow to at least 1.5m above the bank and allow a thorn sapling in each hedge grow a thorn tree
    • Check your soil maps from the nutrient management plan and apply K to low index soils
    • Start taking soil samples for your farm. Don't delay until after Christmas
    • Start closing paddocks from the 10th October onwards (1-2 weeks earlier in wet areas)
  • Badger watch
    Philip Breslin and Rosanne Greene discuss how to spot signs of badger activity during the winter. Badger setts are mostly found in hedgerows, ringforts and riverbanks. Large spoil heaps at the sett entrance are a tell-tale sign that it is a badger sett.
  • Health & Safety - Check lighting and electrical switches
    The clocks go back on Sunday, October 31, which brings shorter daylight time. In advance of this check your farmyard lighting. Bulbs may need replacing and fluorescent covers may need cleaning to maximise light output. To prevent trips and falls, make sure that all walkways are well lit and free of trip hazards.