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Forage crops: can they carry store lambs to finish?

Dr Frank Campion and Mark Dolan join Ciarán Lynch on this week’s OviCast to discuss some of the ongoing work examining the role of forage crops in store lamb finishing systems.

Mark starts by giving some back ground to his project, discussing the crops sown, when they went in and the type of lambs he is finishing while Frank highlights the role these crops have in store lambs finishing systems. 

As carrying and finishing capacity of these crops is highly important, Mark and Frank describe the crop yield they achieved last year, their carrying capacity and how many lambs they finish off each crop.

They then discuss the grazing management, use of temporary fences and the effect the difficult weather last year had on crop utilisation.

Back to current events, with store lambs being purchased at the moment, Mark discusses the management of the lambs on arrival including the reasons they opted to fully shear them while Frank also offers some advice on getting these lambs acclimatised to the crops and the need to provide a forage source.

Finally, Frank highlights the need for those using this system to assess the potential of the crops sown on their farms this year.

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