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Farmer focus: Francis Gonely, breeding, grass and finishing lambs


Francis Gonely who is running a hill and lowland system in Co Sligo joins Ciarán Lynch for the latest Farmer Focus episode of OviCast.

Francis is a participant in the BETTER Farm Sheep Programme and talks through the system he is running and the changes he has made over the past number of years.

The hill flocks have seen numbers increase and a change in breeding policy that saw replacement blackface ewe lambs purchased. Francis discusses the changes, settling in the new stock and the plans for the flock going forward.

During the same period he has increased his lowland flock and implemented a paddock grazing system and he discusses the initial challenges faced in managing grass supplies whilst still lowly stocked and how he has improved management and output with increased ewe numbers.

Finally, there’s a discussion on lambs’ finishing, the store lamb trade this autumn and the option of carrying over lambs to finish in the New Year.

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