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Teagasc/Irish Farmers Journal BETTER Farm Beef Open Day in Tipperary

Over 400 farmers attended an Open Day, on the farm of Billy Glasheen, a beef finisher just outside Mullinahone in Co. Tipperary, yesterday, Tuesday, 4th March. This is the first event in a series of 10 open days taking place on the demonstration farms participating in the Teagasc / Irish Farmers Journal Better Farm Beef Programme in 2014.

Billy Glasheen joined the programme in 2012 and since then has made some key changes to his farm system which has resulted in his gross margin increasing from €205 per hectare in 2011, to €707 per hectare in 2013, a 244% increase. This improvement in profitability has been achieved by increasing the stocking rate on the farm and increasing the numbers of animals slaughtered over the past 2 years. Billy has also moved from an ad-lib meal feeding system to a grass based system where a high proportion of the live weight gain is achieved from grazed grass. Billy grew 11.4 tonnes per hectare of grass in 2013 and the plan is to grow 15 tonnes per hectare in 2015 to sustain the proposed stocking rate.

Commenting on the day, Adam Woods, BETTER beef programme manager said: “While confidence is low in the beef finishing sector at the moment, beef finishers must not take their eye off increasing efficiency within the farm gate to improve profitability. Billy has demonstrated how a store-to-beef finishing system can deliver a healthy margin where costs are kept to a minimum by concentrating on grazed grass to maximise output.”

A further 3 regional open days will take place on the Teagasc/Irish Farmers Journal BETTER farms this spring, in March and April 2014, focusing on farming systems, soil fertility, grass budgeting and making quality silage.

Tuesday, 4th March Billy Glasheen, Ballingarry, Mullinahone, Co. Tipperary
Tuesday, 11th March Trevor Minion, Trevalhean, Ballinteskin, Co. Wicklow
Thursday, 20th March Mark Maxwell, Knockycosker, Ballinagore, Co. Westmeath
Thursday, 24th April Charlie Crawford, Alt, Castlefin, Co. Donegal

A total of 10 open days will take place during the year on the farms participating in the Teagasc/Irish Farmers Journal BETTER Farm Beef programme. The programme is supported by ABP, Dawn Meats, Kepak and FBD.