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Today's Farm - July/August 2021

The July/August edition of our bi-monthly magazine is now available online. The main focus of this edition is on how beetles help battle AMR. It also has articles on when you should end the dairy breeding season; fight against blight; flower power of low-input grassland; Health & Safety, and more.

Today's Farm, the popular bi-monthly magazine has an excellent selection of articles covering a wide range of enterprises. Farmers from various parts of the country are profiled and all have interesting stories to tell.


View it here: Today's Farm - July/August 2021 (PDF)

The main enterprises of dairy, beef, sheep and crops are covered. Also in this edition are interesting articles on: 

  • What is my carbon footprint?
    There has been much talk about the carbon footprint of beef but what, if anything, can we as suckler farmers do to improve it? Martina Harrington, Teagasc Beef Specialist, outlins how, in her experience, greenhouses are not that common on suckler units but farmers are aware that these greenhouse gases (GHG) allow heat from the sun to come into, but not exit, the atmosphere…hence we get warming like in a greenhouse, or a car on a hot day. If it continues, the consequences for the planet are dire.
  • A successful breeding season means getting your dates right
    The breeding season sows the seeds for the next year’s lamb crop. Poor conception or ovulation rates will result in fewer lambs and poorer profits in the subsequent year. While most people consider the breeding season on sheep farms to be the five- or six-week period that the rams are out with the ewes, it is in reality much longer. The breeding season for next year’s lamb crop actually starts once the current year’s lamb crop is weaned.
  • How beetles help battle AMR
    Bruce Thompson is an environmentalist with 300 cows. Walking through a paddock with him is an eye-opener and proof that production and promoting the environment are not incompatible. Seeking out dung beetles, he points to the almost perfectly circular holes they have eaten out of cow pats three to four days’ old. Bruce is soon pulling apart the cowdung and dropping spade-fulls into a bucket of water where a wide range of insects float to the surface.
  • Land drainage: Design and implementation
    Almost half (49.5% – 3.4 m ha) of the total land area of Ireland is classified as "marginal land" because it is affected by natural limitations related to its soil, topography, relief and climate. The most common limitation on marginal land is poor drainage status and much of it is in need of artificial drainage if its productivity is to be improved.
  • When a plan comes together
    Farming is a risky business and the best way to manage risks is to plan for them. Some are within our control, and by managing what is within our control, we make the business stronger to meet the challenges from beyond the farm gate. For example, by using good genetics, we can ensure that when we sell animals, milk or crops that we get an above average price, even if the general price available is poor due to market forces outside our control.
  • Spending wisely on garden projects
    Many uncertainties remain due to COVID-19, but as an industry horticulture is growing, as are job opportunities for our graduates. People are spending more time in their gardens and are keen to invest in garden projects. This has provided a great boost to landscapers all around the country with many contractors' diaries filled for the remainder of 2021. An unfortunate fallout from the pandemic are price increases on a number of landscape materials including plants and paving products. High demand has driven price increases but a number of supply issues have also resulted in a shortage of stock.