FBD EuroStar €200 Replacement Index Competition- National Pedigree Herd Winner Farm walk25 September 2019 25 September 2019
Venue Farm of Richard & Joe Fortune, Knottown, Wexford. Eircode: Y35 KX85
The Fortune family won the pedigree section of the inaugural ‘FBD €200 Replacement Index Competition’. The competition aims to accelerate gains in the Replacement Index of the national suckler herd, both pedigree and commercial. In doing so, significant improvements can be made in key traits for suckler beef production.
Richard and Joe Fortune operate a 125 cow pedigree Salers suckler herd on their farm in Knottown Co. Wexford. They are farming a total of 110 adjusted hectares (ha) across three blocks of land with their home farm located at the mouth of the river Slaney as it enters the Irish Sea in Wexford town. Most of the farm is in permanent grassland but do also grow 20 ha of spring barley and oats that are fed to livestock on the farm. The farm for the most part is heavy with some free draining soil. Their out-farm would be very sandy. In 2018 they had a farm stocking rate of 1.91 LU per ha.
While the Fortunes herd is made up of all pedigree registered Salers cows it operates very much like a commercial herd with a significant number of the stock on the farm brought through to slaughter with the remainder sold as breeding stock. For example, in the 2019 breeding season, 70 of the 140 Salers cows and maiden heifers that were bred were bred to Charolais sires with all of the progeny from these destined for finishing on the farm. The remaining 70 were mated to Salers Sires. The heifers bred from these cows will be either sold as breeding stock or retained as replacements for their own herd. Approximately 10 pedigree bulls will be registered with an estimated six eventually sold off the farm as breeding bulls. The remainder of the purebred bulls will finished on the farm.