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Teagasc Green Acres Virtual Farm Walk - Jarlath and Austin Ruane

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A virtual farm walk with Jarlath and Austin Ruane, farmer participants of the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme

The second phase of the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef programme was launched in the spring of 2019 and since then Jarlath Ruane along with our 11 other participating farmers have been working closely with our programme advisors Alan DillonJames Fitzgerald and Seán Cummins on implementing farm plans aimed at achieving a net margin of €500/ha before farm subsidies are taken into account.

On Thursday, 13 May, we take you onto the farm of Austin & Jarlath Ruane, who farm in Claremorris, Co. Mayo. 

Jarlath runs a calf to beef and lowland sheep system alongside his father Austin. As both men are employed full time locally, the farm is run part time. The calf to beef system involves the rearing of 60 spring born bull calves on an automatic feeder and carrying them through to slaughter at 22-30 months of age. A mixture of Angus, Holstein and Limousine calves are purchased off local dairy farms.

Join us on the day as Jarlath talks us through the system he runs, the changes he is making to his farm as part of the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef programme and the results these changes are giving.

Topics on the day will include:

  • Mixed Grazing Systems
    Running a calf to beef system and a sheep system side by side provides many advantages for the Ruanes. Farming in an area with a high annual rainfall can make getting the best use out of grazed grass very difficult, particularly in early spring and late autumn. Hear about how the mixed grazing system is operated on the farm and the advantages of it.
  • Silage Quality
    Key to the success of any calf to beef system is silage quality. Whether animals are being stored or finished over the winter months, getting a good level of winter weight gain cheaply is key to the profitability of beef farming. Jarlath prioritises having very good quality silage in the yard for both the silage that is made on farm and the silage which is bought in annually. The steps taken in silage making on the Ruane’s farm will be outlined.
  • Calf Genetics & Rearing
    The early stages of a calf to beef system (calf purchasing and rearing) are hugely important to the overall success and profits of the system. Purchasing the right genetics at the right value for money will maximise the potential profits, whereas either purchasing the wrong type of calf or paying too much for the calves will significantly erode the potential profit. Getting the calves off to a good start and thriving well is also critical to the lifetime performance of calf to beef animals. Hear how to maximise the profits of a calf to beef system by getting things right in the early stages.

You can follow this Teagasc Green Acres Virtual Farm Walk on Thursday, 13 May and interact with Jarlath and the Teagasc Green Acres advisors on any of the Teagasc social media platforms below: