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Sheep Newsletter - June 2023

09 June 2023
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • SHEEP 2023
    SHEEP 2023 will be the largest dedicated sheep industry event of 2023. Following on from very successful past events held on the Teagasc Athenry Campus, this year’s event will take place in a new venue, Gurteen Agricultural College, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, E53 TP93 on Saturday June 17. This is a free event with gates opening from 10am.
  • Grassland
    Getting the balance between supply and demand while trying to maintain quality and not over tighten lambs as they approach weaning can be tricky at this point in the season, with grass growth rates taking off. For June, the target is to have 10 days of grazing ahead of the flock to keep overall supply in check.
  • Silage
    Depleted silage stocks on many farms combined with delayed closing/fertiliser applications this year may put farms under pressure to meet their winter feed requirements. It’s a good idea to take stock of the current fodder supply on your farm and complete a fodder budget.
  • Weaning
    Time to start planning the weaning of March-born lambs. The standard recommendation is to wean lambs by 14 weeks of age. In certain cases, weaning lambs earlier from 10 to 12 weeks of age is a useful management tool, such as with yearling or thin ewes to allow them extra time to recover condition.
  • BETTER Farm Update - Make silage while the sun shines
    Frank Campion, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Athenry, Co. Galway reports on silage and lamb growth on the BETTER sheep farms. During May, most of the farms took the opportunity when the weather allowed to make a proportion of their silage. This was important for the flocks, as most was high quality silage that will be marked for ewes pre lambing next winter but also because grass supplies were getting ahead of flocks
  • Health & Safety - Organise to stay safe
    So far in 2023, three farm workplace fatalities have been reported to the Health and Safety Authority (provisional data at May 15). A Teagasc National Farm Survey study has shown that over 4,500 farm workplace injuries occur annually, with 80% requiring medical treatment. During June, farm work gets busy, especially with tractor and machinery and livestock-related work. Organising work is crucial to prevent injuries. This involves keeping safety to the fore by having all guards in place and using safe work practices.