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The Beef Edge Masterclass with James Madigan

James Madigan, a suckler farmer from Co. Kilkenny, joins Catherine Egan on this week’s Beef Edge podcast for the latest in the show’s Masterclass series.

James outlines his suckling to finishing system with bulls finished under 16 months and heifers under 20 months and he describes how he operates a split calving 50/50  spring and autumn calving herd with 100 cows put to the bull.

The spring herd calves December-March and the autumn herd calves in August/September. He achieves great weight gain in his stock up to weaning and credits it due to the grass and milk in his cows.   There are three Charolais stock bulls on the farm of which two are terminal and one is maternal.  He breeds his own replacement heifers and purchases limousin cross from the dairy herd.

James outlines the key targets he has to achieve to finish bulls under 16 months. This year’s weanlings achieved 0.54kg/head/day for the first two months at housing.

James also highlights that achieving excellent quality silage is necessary to reduce cost and to ensure he makes a profit with 76DMD silage made last year. The type of cow on the farm is also essential to provide top quality stock that meet the spec requirements while having milk to rear the calf. James insists ‘Look after the cow and she’ll look after you.’  

For more episodes and information covered on the Beef Edge, visit the show page at: www.teagasc.ie/thebeefedge