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Farmer focus: Eddie Gavin wintering on forage crops

Teagasc BETTER Farm Sheep Programme participant, Eddie Gavin, his Teagasc advisor Eoin Wolfe and Programme manager Dr Frank Campion join Ciarán Lynch on this week’s OviCast to discuss wintering on forage crops.

Eddie, who is farming near Bagenalstown in Co Carlow, gives a bit of background to his farming system and flock. Managing a split flock, Eddie discusses the performance of the early lambing ewes and how mating has gone for the mid-season ewes.

He moves on to discuss his use of forage crops to carry the ewe flocks during the winter months, describes what was sown and how he is managing grazing the crop. With a good autumn Eoin chats about how crops have yielded locally this year and the high levels of utilisation that was achieved during the early stages of grazing.

Eddie explains how he plans to graze the crops post-lambing with the early lambing ewes and how the multiples in the mid-season flock will be housed after scanning with only the singles and replacements remaining on the crop during February.  Transition of these crops with ewes in late pregnancy can be tricky and Frank explains the potential risks and offers advice on how best to manage the nutritional change during this period.

Finally, Eoin tackles the question of possibly using these crops to finish store lambs as opposed to wintering ewes.

For more episodes from the OviCast podcast, visit the show page at: www.teagasc.ie/ovicastpodcast