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Diary dates for drystock farmers include
three upcoming events during May and
June. The Irish Grassland Association is
hosting two separate conferences and
farm walks devoted to beef and sheep,
supported by Mullinahone Co-op and MSD
The sheep conference and farm walk takes place at
Horse and Jockey Hotel in Tipperary and on John
Large's farm, a few miles away, on May 22. Two days
later, on May 24, the Irish Grassland Association
(IGA) hosts its annual beef conference in Kildare.
Keeping grass ahead of ewes
The IGA sheep conference includes Darren Carty of the
Irish Farmers Journal
; Kevin McDermott and Eamon Wall,
programme managers for Sheep Ireland; and Mathew
Blyth, flock manager from Didling Farms Ltd in West
Sussex, UK. Mathew will discuss the management of the
1,000-ewe flock, grazing rotations, use of alternative
forages and how incorporating the latest technology has
helped him manage and improve their flock performance.
The afternoon farm walk on John Large's farm focuses on
grassland management, the use of AI and the challenge
of lambing a big flock in a tight timescale. There is a high
stocking rate on the farm and John Large places a lot of
emphasis on early autumn closing of some paddocks to
ensure a good build-up of grass for early Spring grazing.
Beefing-up in Kildare
Ger Dineen, the beef enterprise grassland farmer award
winner in 2017, will be the keynote speaker at the beef
conference at the Clonard Court Hotel in Athy and will
outline how he achieved a beef output figure of 999kg live
weight per hectare on a heavy farm, by targeting grassland
management to grow and utilising high quantities of
grass. Teagasc research geneticist Dr Donagh Berry
will try to answer the question, `Will breeding the best
with the best always give you the best?' The importance
of beef producers making connections with the final
consumer will be discussed by Professor Patrick Wall.
The farm walk will be held on the O'Connor family farm
near Moone in Kildare. This is a mixed farm with four
enterprises including beef, sheep, tillage and pigs. The
beef enterprise comprises 90 suckler cows, with all male
progeny finished as bulls under 16 months and heifers
at 21 months. Each year, additional cattle are purchased
for finishing, including both young bulls and heifers. The
unique feature of this farm is the way the O'Connors
paddock graze the cattle in large groups during the grazing
Later in the summer, BEEF2018, organised by Teagasc, is
happening at Grange, Co. Meath, on June 26.
The theme of this event is `nhancing Knowledge' and
will look at all aspects of beef production. The emphasis
in BEEF2018, Teagasc says, is on highlighting those
technologies that will help underpin the future profitability
of the beef sector. These include grassland management,
animal nutrition, beef genetics, reproductive management
and animal health. Farm planning and implementation that
will be essential in increasing the competitiveness of the
beef sector will be on display.
Roast beef on the menu
There will be specific stands devoted to farm
Infrastructure, suckler-calf-to-beef and dairy-calf-to-
beef systems, high animal performance and grassland
management. The very successful technology villages
that have been a feature of previous Grange Open Days
will be repeated. Such topics as Grass10, the BETTER
beef programme and health and reproduction issues
will be highlighted in the technology village. Agricultural
education options will be discussed and there will be an
emphasis on farm safety. Two highlights of the event are
likely to be a panel discussion chaired by broadcaster
Richard Curran and featuring some of Ireland's best beef
farmers and a range of beef cookery demonstrations
delivered by chef Kevin Dundon.
MAY 2018
Herd Health
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