ASA Grass based drystock event
May 24th – Teagasc Research Centre, Athenry, Co. Galway
The ASA ran a grass based drystock event at Teagasc Research Centre Athenry on Wednesday May 24th. Rotational grazing of drystock, improving soil fertility and maximising the role of grass in the diet of beef and sheep animals emerged as key drivers of improving profit on drystock farms. This event, sponsored by AIB, focused on sheep grassland management and fertiliser guidelines for sheep and cattle in the morning. Approximately 40 ASA members attended the event which ran from 10.00am until 4.00pm.
Dr Philip Creighton, Teagasc reported that gross margins of almost €1,000/ha can be achieved on highly stocked (14 ewes/ha), highly prolific sheep farms. Dr. Stan Lalor, Grasslands Agro recommended applying one kilo sulphur for every 10 kg nitrogen applied per hectare. After lunch delegates met Dr. Fiona McGovern, Teagasc who reported that the sheep genetic merit system is working well with higher merit ewes producing more lambs and achieving higher growth rates than low merit ewes.
The performance of the suckler unit at the Newford Farm was presented by herd manager Matthew Murphy. Over 80% of the 100-strong Angus cross Friesian cows calved in the first 6-weeks of the calving season to mostly Charolais and Limousine AI. A rotational paddock grazing system is in operation on the farm with Christy Watson and Pearse Kelly providing guidelines on how best to increase grass utilisation on cattle farms.
DOWNLOAD PRESENTATIONS HERE:
Christy Watson, Beef Paddock Systems – ASA 24th May
Stan Lalor, Fertilisers for grassland – ASA 24th May