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Beef and Sheep Centre

Beef and Sheep Centre

At Greenmount Campus the key aim of the Beef and Sheep Centre is to demonstrate efficient and sustainable production of beef and lamb with a particular focus on grassland management.

The unit consists of 130 hectares of grassland with 100 suckler cows, 200 finishing cattle, 230 breeding ewes and 5 hectares of cereals.

A target for the unit is to maximise output per hectare as land is one of the biggest limiting factors for most lowland beef and sheep farms. To maximise output in a cost effective way the aim is to grow and utilise as much grass as possible with over 10 tonnes of grass dry matter per hectare consistently grown. This high level of performance has been achieved as a result of careful management of soil fertility, sward management, reseeding and the efficient utilisation of the grass that is grown each year.

As part of CAFRE’s Knowledge and Technology Transfer projects a number of different grazing systems are demonstrated from set stocked to rotational and paddock grazing systems. These projects have shown that even in years with difficult weather during the grazing season, high levels of stock performance can be achieved with beef cattle typically achieving average growth rates of 1.19 kg of liveweight per head per day.

The farm is LEAF (Linking Environment and Farming) certificated and work to improve biodiversity, such as parkland restoration, stone walling, hedge and tree planting have helped us to maintain this important accreditation.