There are a lot of changes taking place on the farm of Kenneth Reid, just outside Clarina in Co Limerick.

Kenneth has been accepted into the Organic Farming Scheme and has also applied for ACRES. Because he has been accepted into the Organic Farming Scheme, he will get priority access to ACRES.

Kenneth’s transition to organics means that while he will farm organically, the cattle present on the farm during conversion will never be qualified as organic and he will have until the winter of 2025 to add some straw-bedded winter housing.

As Kenneth currently houses all his animals on slats, the opportunity to build further infrastructure on his farm to accommodate this is important. The requirement is that 50% of the area where the animals are housed must be straw-bedded.

Kenneth has been accepted into the Organic Farming Scheme and has also applied for ACRES.

As the main enterprise on the farm is calf-to-beef, this will also mean a big change in management for Kenneth. During his conversion period, any milk powder he uses must be GM-free, and after he is fully organic, the calves must be fed organic whole milk.

The plan would be to buy the milk from the farmer that Kenneth will purchase the calves off. There is an organic dairy herd within a short distance of the farm which can provide Kenneth with young beef calves to rear.

In terms of his fertiliser plan for the year, being accepted into the Organic Farming Scheme has meant there will be big changes in how Kenneth manages his soil fertility.

He usually spreads urea and 27:2.5:10 towards the end of March or early April, mostly all for first-cut silage, with some CAN being spread on grazing ground if needed. There would usually be about 4t–5t of fertiliser spread throughout the year.

Kenneth has been busy putting out slurry over the past week.

Instead, this year Kenneth will be spreading 1,500 – 2,000 gallons of slurry per acre, and silage ground will be given priority. He is looking into different soil conditioners at present to try and improve the microbial activity of his soil. However, the farmyard manure from the straw bedding will be a great asset once available and will be a huge help to soil microbial activity.

P and K on Kenneth’s farm are at index 2, while his soil pH is at 6.2. He has spread 25t of lime since these soil samples were taken two years ago, so is waiting on the results of samples taken recently before he decides whether any more lime is needed.

Kenneth has also earmarked areas to be be reseeded with clover and multispecies swards.


Kenneth has applied for ACRES and his three measures are planting 750m of hedgerow, coppicing a hedge and putting in 550m of a riparian zone.

Farm shop

Kenneth and his partner Melissa also opened a farm shop called 8020 Food Company in Limerick city before Christmas.

Kenneth and his partner Melissa opened a farm shop called 8020 Food Company in Limerick city before Christmas. They also run a food truck, which Kenneth plans to supply with his own Angus beef.


When he is not farming, Kenneth is studying environmental science in college, and says it has really driven home to him the importance of biodiversity.

“I was always interested in nature, but not to the extent I am now,” he says. Kenneth has recently dug a farm pond, and hopes to sow reeds and north facing willow beside it, so as not to block the sun in the summer. He hopes it will attract some wildlife over time and will be keeping an eye out for frogspawn next year.

Kenneth has also spotted kestrels and buzzards around the farm and has earmarked a spot in some beech trees with a clear line of sight for an owl box.

Kenneth has also recently dug a farm pond.

Kenneth’s farm was recently scored for biodiversity as part of the Footprint Farmers Programme. This was carried out by the Biodiversity Regeneration In a Dairying Environment (BRIDE) project and Farming with Nature EIP.

Kenneth received a score of 17B. The 17 signifies that there is 17% of the farm classified as Space for Nature (SFN) and the average quality of SFN on the farm is B. The Farming with Nature target is a 10B, so Kenneth is doing well in this regard.

Riparian buffers on the farm scored low in the report, with an overall score of E, as the buffers were small in width. This is where some of the ACRES measures will benefit Kenneth.

Farm facts:

Kenneth Reid. \ Claire Nash

  • Farmer: Kenneth Reid.
  • Location: Clarina, Co Limerick.
  • Farm size: 37.5ha.
  • Farm enterprise: calf-to-beef and contract heifer rearing.