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38
JULY 2019
Animal Health Focus
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
39
JULY 2019
www.irishfarmersmonthly.com
Animal Health Focus
Efficient part-time cattle farm
The Graham farm near Mountrath in Laois was the main focus of attention for this year's Irish
Grassland Association's Summer Beef Tour. Matt O' Kee e reports.
Ken Graham runs a suckler calf to beef system on his
farm and, despite having a full-time o farm job, he still
manages to deliver very impressive performance figures.
The Graham farm is producing nearly double the beef
output of the average cattle farm and his grass output
and finishing performances are equally impressive.
The bulls are finished at sixteen months with the
heifers from the suckler herd finished at twenty-one
months of age. Because he works o farm, time is a
limited commodity for Ken and he has ensured that
his managements and farm infrastructure still allow
the farm to be run well. Key to all of this is a compact
calving regime. There is a nine-week calving period
with 75 per cent of the cows calved in six weeks
and that means that all of the herd management
tasks throughout the year can be carried out
equally compactly, whether that's weighing,
dosing or weaning. All replacement heifers are
calved before 26 months of age, compared to
the national average of 23 per cent by that age.
Ken's calving interval is 16 days shorter than the
national average.
Attention to detail
The suckler herd is made up
of Limousin/Simmental cross
cows with Angus terminal
sires used on replacement
heifers. Particular detail
is paid to bull quality
with Ken looking for
good replacement and
terminal indices. A
well constructed