On Wednesday, 8th June 2022, Organic Sheep, Cereals and Beef Finishing farmer Fergal Byrne, Calverstown Little, Dunlavin, Co. Kildare hosted a Teagasc Organic Farm Walk to which anyone with an interest in the organic sector was invited.
Fergal Byrne farms 58.768Ha (145acres) of utilisable land in Calverstown Little, Dunlavin, Co. Kildare. The farm is a mixed farming enterprise with cattle, lamb, oats, wool and turkeys all sold off the farm organically. For a number of years Fergal had an interest in organic farming. “In 2014 I felt I had to start looking at other options for the farm”. At the time he was renting a lot of land on conacre and growing cereals on it. “Every time I went into the field I was spending money on the likes of fertiliser and sprays”. Fergal also wanted to generate a full-time income from the farm and realised that he was going to have to increase in scale under conventional systems to enable this to happen.
In late 2014 Fergal completed a 25 hour course on Organic farming principles. Having completed the course, Fergal decided that farming organically could offer him the opportunity to earn a full time living from the farm without having to increase in scale. In late 2014 Fergal completed his conversion plan and commenced his organic conversion in early 2105. Fergal really enjoys the variety of jobs on the farm that the mixed organic farming system offers him and also the variety of enterprises protects him somewhat from price fluctuations as his is not too dependent on any one income source.
Topics discussed at the farm walk included:
- Livestock Enterprises
- Red Clover Silage
- Beef Enterprise
- Sheep Enterprise
- Organic Cereals
- Compost Tea
- Soil Nutrients and Manure Management
Find out more about Fergal Byrne here or check out the booklet from the farm walk here
For more information about the Teagasc Organics Programme please visit www.teagasc.ie/organics
Or follow us on Twitter @TeagascOrganics