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Derrypatrick Herd Update at Teagasc Grange

17 April 2020
Type Media Article

BEEF: Michael McManus, Research Technician on the Derrypatrick herd, at Teagasc Grange gives an update on the herd, grass management and plans for the next few weeks.

In this video, Michael McManus, Research Technician on the Derrypatrick Herd in Teagasc Grange, Co. Meath gives a brief update on the management and performance of the Derrypatrick Herd so far this year.

Calving started on the 14th of February and is currently on-going with 5 cows remaining to calve, we have 100 cows calved and 104 calves at foot all of which are currently at grass. 88 percent of the cows calved in the first 6 weeks with average calf birth weight so far being 43.6kg. We hope to have the calving finished before the first of May. 

The first of the cows and calves were turned out on the 23rd of March. All the calves receive an intranasal vaccine for pneumonia at 2 weeks of age and will receive a booster shot at 6 weeks of age. They are also dehorned before being turnout to grass. The yearlings were turned on the 23rd of March. Bullocks weighing 400kg and the heifers averaged 370kg. They are currently getting 24 hour allocations of grass and we will be hoping to achieve an average daily gain of 1kg from these animals at grass. Breeding will commence from the first week of May. We will continue to use 100 percent AI, using a team of sires across multiple breed as part of the on-going breeding trial. 

The farm is walked each week to monitor grass growth. This week the farm grew 43 kg/DM/Ha, we currently have a demand of 56kg/DM/Ha and an average farm cover of 775kg/DM/ha. This means we have 14 days grass ahead of us. Three quarters of the grazing platform has been grazed to date. We will be starting the second rotation next week. Paddocks are receiving half a bag of protected urea per acre after each grazing. Due to the continued dry weather we are able to graze paddocks down to 4cm which will improve grass quality in the second rotation. 50% of the farm was closed for silage at the end of March and received 92 units of protected urea and 2 bags of 0-7-30 per acre. This silage will be cut in mid-May to maximise quality.