Warmer weather this week in the midlands has meant grass growth has started to kick on, with the farm growing 43kg DM/ha/day.

It’s still behind demand, with current demand running at 46kg DM/ha/day.

The current stocking rate on the grazing area is 3.35 LU/ha. There is currently 56ha (138 acres) available for grazing, with 24ha (59 acres) closed up for first-cut silage.

Farm manager Shaun Diver said: “Grass is tight, but, in fairness, cattle and sheep seem to be very content at grass, with no real pressure on yet.

High dry matter

"Grass dry matter is very high, so they don’t seem to be moving through grass as quickly as they were.

"We were thinking about moving into some silage ground 10 days ago, but I don’t think we will have to do that now.

"Clean-outs have been really good all spring, which should set us up well for keeping quality in the sward for the rest of the year,” he said.

Average farm cover is running at 724kg DM/ha. There are currently 78 cows and calves, 220 ewes with lambs and 39 yearling breeding heifers and 19 beef heifers and bullocks grazing on the farm.


Breeding commenced on Thursday 22 April in the maiden heifer group and on Friday 23 April in the main cow group.

There are currently three vasectomised bulls fitted with MooCall collars and chin-ball harnesses to pick up heats. As cows and heifers come into heat, Shaun gets a text message to his phone.

The chin ball is being used as a fail-safe in case a tag gets lost or becomes faulty. There are currently 25 out of 39 heifers bred after 14 days of breeding or 64%.

In the cow groups, there are currently 30 out of 78 cows bred or 38%. Cows are being inseminated by an AI technician once daily at midday.

If a cow is still in heat in the evening, she may get inseminated again the following day.

Tullamore Farm webinar

Next week sees the final episode of the Tullamore Farm webinar series.

In this final episode, we will be taking a look at the Tullamore Farm finances for 2020 and where improvements can be made.

We’ll compare the beef and sheep enterprises in terms of gross margin performance and we’ll also take a look at what changes can be made on the farm to make it more profitable.

A pollinator patch has been planted this week on Tullamore Farm.

Dr Paul Crosson from Teagasc Grange will join us on the night to discuss some alternative options for the farm.

The webinar is free to view, with no pre-registration necessary and will take place live on www.ifj.ie/webinar on Tuesday 4 May at 8.30pm.

If you would like to submit questions before the event, you can email webinar@farmersjournal.ie or send a WhatsApp to 086-836 6465. You can also submit questions live on the night.