Beef Grassland Management
CAFRE have recruited eight beef technology demonstration farm applicants to demonstrate selected essential technologies within the Grassland Management theme.
Group bookings must be made through CAFRE.
Telephone: 028 9442 6790
Check out the introduction video to these farms
Stephen Maguire, Maguiresbridge, Co. Fermanagh
Stephen formerly managed a suckler herd on his 100 acre farm. He is now transitioning to become a ‘Blade’ calf rearing and finishing unit. Stephen is currently grazing the remainder of the stock produced by the suckler herd and plans to sell suitable replacement heifers in-calf. In future he hopes to finish 100 blade cattle per year from a predominantly grass based system while also rearing 20 dairy heifers. He operates a rotational paddock based system targeting to move cattle every three days.
Sam Chesney, Kirkubbin, Co. Down
Sam has a herd of 140 suckler cows and 100 ewes. The majority of male progeny are finished as under 16 month bulls. Blade calves are also finished on farm. Breeding is comprised of a mixture of bulls and synchronisation programmes with A.I. Sam implements a rotational paddock system with groups being moved every 3 days and aims to grow 14 tonnes of grass dry matter per year. Grass growth is monitored using weekly platemeter measurements. Sam has sown and grazed some herbal leys.
James Henderson, Kilkeel, Co. Down
James runs two enterprises on his 150 acre farm, 90 dairy origin beef heifers and 300 ewes. Calves are purchased at 3 weeks of age in autumn and are finished off grass at 22-24 months of age. The heifers are predominantly limousine and Belgian blue crosses. James implements a rotational grazing system with groups being moved every two days. Grass growth is monitored weekly using a platemeter and computer software.
Alastair McNeilly, Muckamore, Co. Antrim
Alastair manages a spring calving suckler herd of 85 cows over 145 acres with all male progeny finished as steers at 18-22 months old. He keeps his own replacements and aims for them to calve down at 24 months old. Any females unsuitable for breeding are also finished. His cattle are a mixture of Limousin, Angus, Shorthorn and Simmental genetics. Alastair operates a rotational paddock grazing system with weekly grass measurements taken using a platemeter. The addition of more paddocks has allowed Alastair to increase his stocking rate.
Declan Rafferty, Pomeroy, Co. Tyrone
Declan manages a herd of 100 suckler cows over 140 acres with 70 calving in spring and 30 calving in autumn. Heifers that are unsuitable to be kept as replacements are finished and males are finished as under 16 month bulls. Declan also rears 25 dairy bred calves that are bought in autumn and contract rears 45 dairy heifers from 4 months old to the point of calving. All stock are rotationally paddock grazed and the grazing platform is measured weekly with a platemeter.
John Milligan, Castlewellan, Co. Down
John runs a 85 cow suckler herd and 300 ewes over 200 acres. 70 cows calve in spring and the remaining 15 in autumn however, John hopes to calve all cows in spring in the coming years. Any heifers produced on the farm that aren’t chosen to be kept as replacements are sold in calf or finished with the male progeny. In autumn between 50-60 dairy bred beef calves (mostly Angus) are bought and kept through to finishing at 24 months old. John operates a rotational paddock system with grass measuring done weekly.
CAFRE has recently recruited the following farmers within the Beef Grassland Management theme:
John McHenry – Stranocum, Co. Antrim
John farms 220 acres with 70 suckler cows and 220 ewes. Replacement heifers are home-bred and are calved at 24 months with male stock and surplus heifers sold as stores. Ewes are mainly Suffolk and Lleyn crosses, run as a closed flock, which are bred to Charollais rams and all lambs are finished. John operates a rotational paddock grazing system with weekly grass measurements taken using a platemeter. John aims to make the best use of grass within the system to achieve optimum utilisation levels and maximise animal performance.
Brian Cromie – Banbridge, Co. Down
Brian runs two enterprises on his 260 acre farm, 160 dairy origin beef cattle and 450 ewes. Purchased calves are mainly Aberdeen Angus, Hereford and Belgian Blue crosses and are finished off grass at approximately 24 months of age. Brian operates a rotational paddock grazing system, using both permanent and temporary fencing, with groups being moved every three days. Grass growth is monitored weekly using a platemeter and computer software.