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Teagasc Future Beef Programme in Leitrim


The Future Beef Programme is a new Teagasc Beef Demonstration programme consisting of 24 Suckler and Beef finishing farmers around the country. Here we meet Oliver O'Hara, Leitrim's Future Beef farmer farming full-time with help from his children Shane & Karen near Leckaun, Co. Leitrim

Photo above: Liam Herlihy, Chairman of the Teagasc Authority; Oliver O’Hara, Future Beef Programme Participant and host farmer; Charlie McConalogue TD, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine; and Professor Frank O'Mara, Teagasc Director pictured at the launch of the Teagasc Future Beef Programme - Sustainable Cattle Production which took place on Monday, 6 December on the farm of Oliver O’Hara, near Manorhamilton in County Leitrim.

The Teagasc Future Beef Programme - Sustainable Cattle Production, was launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue TD on the farm of Oliver O’Hara, near Manorhamilton in County Leitrim on Monday, 6th December.

Oliver O'Hara - Leitrim's Future Beef Farm

Oliver farms full-time with help from his children Shane and Karen in Gortnaskeagh, Leckaun, Co. Leitrim. He also runs a contracting business. He is farming 15Ha of owned land plus 32Ha of mountain commonage. Soil type is typically heavy clay with some peaty areas adjacent to the mountain. Oliver has done a lot of reclaimation and reseeding in recent years to increase productivity.

Overall stocking rate is 104kgs/Ha, including sheep & excluding commonage. Oliver runs a primarily spring-calving system with 27 sucklers, a few of which are pedigree Limousin. Stronger males are finished as young bulls with the remainder sold as weanlings. A high replacement index bull is on farm to breed replacements with a terminal bull in place for the rest of the herd. A.I. is used for the first round to breed replacements and then a high terminal bull or dual purpose bull is used for the rest of the breeding season. A flock of ewes is also maintained on the farm.

The farm is divided into 10 grazing divisions which cover both cattle and sheep enterprises. A significant amount of reseeding has been carried out in recent years. There is good housing and adequate waste storage on farm. 

Teagasc Advisor is Cian Condon.

Breeding Performance

No. of cows: 27
Cow replacement index: 99
Heifer replacement index: 114
Calves per cow per year: 0.72

Oliver’s Plan

His plan is to stay at the same cow numbers but to increase the efficiency on farm. Calves per cow per year and performance at grass are the main focus areas. Oliver also wants to look at soil fertility, using more protected urea and low emission slurry spreading while also looking at incorporating clover. 

Find out what Oliver has to say about his farm and Future Beef in the video below 

We hope to keep you informed regularly on the progress on Oliver’s farm throughout the course of this programme.  You can keep up-to-date at www.teagasc.ie/futurebeef

For more information on the farms please visit Teagasc Future Beef Programme Farms

Teagasc Advisors write regular articles of interest to farmers here on Teagasc Daily.  Teagasc provides a Local Advisory and Education service to farmers. Find your local Teagasc office here