Grass growth this week was good at 66kg/ha. Demand has fallen to 31kg/DM/ha. This has dropped considerably, with second cut silage ground coming back into the grazing rotation this week. This has really taken the pressure off the grazing block and allowed Shaun to think about building covers for ewes in advance of the sheep breeding season.

Average farm cover is currently at 802kg/ha, so the farm won’t be that far off its target of having an average farm cover of 1,100kg/ha by the first week in September. The farm is currently stocked at 2.12 L.U/ha. There are currently 26 days grazing ahead of grazing stock on the farm. The plan is to go with one bag/ac of pasture sward to give paddocks a boost for P and K and also boost growth over the coming weeks.

BEEP weighing was completed this week with average cow weight coming in at 646kg.

One slurry tank that had a few loads left from the under 16 month bulls being fed indoors was emptied this week, which means all tanks on the farm have been emptied. BEEP weighing was completed this week also.

The average 200-day weight of the bull calves is 308kg, meaning the bull calves are currently gaining 1.31/kg/day since birth. The average weight of the 2021-born heifer calves is 266kg, meaning heifer calves have done 1.12/kg/day since birth. Average cow weight on the farm is 646kg, with the weaning efficiency figure currently standing at 45%.Further details, including a ranking off calf performance on cow type and sire breed type, will be profiled in the Irish Farmers Journal next week.

Grass growth has increased in the last seven days, with 66kg/DM/Ha/day growth recorded.

Other things that have been happening on the farm this week include:

  • The date has been finalised for the Tullamore Farm in-calf heifer sale in Roscrea Mart on Wednesday 27 October at 8.30pm. This year’s sale will include approximately 30 in-calf heifers. More details will follow in the coming weeks.
  • Lambs were dosed last week with an ivermectin drench. This dose was based on a faecal sample result, which came back at 450 eggs per gram. No lambs were drafted this week, but we will be expecting another draft next week. So far, there have been 150 lambs drafted for slaughter out of the 2021 lamb crop. Hogget’s lambs are the only lambs currently eating creep feed, with the rest of the lambs on good-quality clover swards.
  • A Suffolk was purchased last week for €800. Shaun is also on the lookout for a Charollais ram lamb for running with Texel ewes and ewe lambs. He is also attending the Donegal Mule association’s sale next week in Donegal and the Ballinrobe mule sale in Aurivo marts in Ballinrobe this weekend, to hopefully purchase some breeding ewe lambs.
  • Twenty cull ewes were slaughtered on Thursday 12 August, with carcase weights of 18 Mule ewes in the batch ranging from 25.8kg to 46.5kg and averaging at 35.29kg.
  • We are using the quiet time on the cattle side to do a few jobs around the yard. Washing out sheds is being finished off and there are also some repairs being completed on gates and barriers around the yard.
  • We have purchased 144 bales of straw from a local tillage farmer in Tullamore at €20/bale. We need another 60-80 bales and with good weather forecast next week, we would hope to get the rest home by the end of the week.