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Grassland Farmer of the Year Drystock - Aidan Maguire Farm Walk

Grassland Farmer of the Year Drystock  - Aidan Maguire Farm Walk

Join the Teagasc Grass10 team along with the Teagasc DairyBeef500 team on the evening of 31 August at 6.30pm on the farm of Aidan Maguire, Navan, Co. Meath. Aidan is the 2021 Grassland Farmer of the Year in the Drystock Enterprise Category.

2021 Drystock Grassland Farmer of the Year

A prime example of a farmer overcoming price volatility challenges in the beef industry is Aidan Maguire, the 2021 Drystock Grassland Farmer of the Year. Aidan runs a dairy-calf to beef system in Co. Meath and his attitude to learning, improving, and grazing management is top class.

This is what stood out strongly to the judges. Aidan is growing high levels of grass and grazing it at the right stage for excellent quality (in 2021 he grew 13.5 T DM/ha with an average pregrazing yield 1,463 Kg DM/ha). His beef output/ha is 1,500 + Kg lwt/ha (triple the average), and excellent grazing management is the cornerstone of this performance.

As part of being a GFOY winner, Aidan is hosting a farm walk next Wed 31st Aug at 6.30pm on his farm outside Navan. It is well worth a visit to hear Aidan’s inspiring story first-hand, and the progress and change possible on a farm in a short period of time. With the right help and attitude, this farm went from one struggling to survive, to one that is now thriving, and still has gains to make in Aidan’s view.

More about Aidan

Aidan Maguire is deservedly the 2021 Drystock Grassland Farmer of the Year. The progress this farmer has made in such a short space of time is phenomenal. He joined his local Grass10 group on advice of local advisor and the Dairy-calf to beef programme three years ago. Aidan is the focus farmer for the Grass10 group. He started measuring grass then and went on a steep learning curve to changing how he viewed grass in his farming system.

“The single biggest improvement I made to my farm was to actually measure the grass. To me, it feels like I’m actually counting my money. When the grass is growing well, my business is growing well!” – Aidan        

Aidan started to see the right grass cattle should be grazing. This means taking out bales when there’s a surplus to ensure animals graze lighter covers to put on maximum liveweight at the lowest cost. He believes the finishing period is a breakeven exercise so the more weight from grass, the more money in his pocket. Aidan measured the grass on his farm over 50 times last year, this is how seriously he is taking it. His beef output report is over 1,400 Kg liveweight/ha, which is over 3 times the national average!

“Everything you feed in the yard is costing you extra money, the cattle feeding themselves in the field are making it for you!” – Aidan

Having an excellent paddock system, new central (grass) roadway, and measuring has increased grass grown and eaten on his farm whilst reducing the amount of fertiliser spread.

Aidan has clover on a lot of paddocks and it has increased in the past few years with better grazing management and excellent soil fertility. He has reseeded some silage ground with grass and red clover also.

 “I used to think the centre of my farm business was the farmyard, but from measuring and managing the grass, I now know that the driving force behind it is really and truly the fields of grass.” – Aidan

In the clip below, Aidan gives an insight into what to expect on the day of the event.         

This event is an absolute must for any drystock farmer who proudly wants to make more money from farming. There are a lot of valuable lessons to learn from Aidan, his attitude, and his inspiring story. So we hope to see you all there!

You might also be interested in Enter the 2022 Grassland Farmer of the Year Competition! (closes Fri 26th Aug 2022)