I farm: “100ha of upland hill ground alongside my father, Neil, and mother, Marie. We run 50 suckler cows, of which 12 are summer calving and the rest are March- and April-calving. Cows are Limousin-bred and crossed to a Limousin stock bull. We also run 160 Suffolk and Texel cross ewes with lambs sold through the Sperrin producer group.”

Family: “I am married to Charmaine and we have three kids, Cara, Holly and Adam. The children are all showing an interest in working with stock which is great.”

Using AI: “We run one stock bull on farm. His daughters were bred to AI in March. Eleven heifers were inseminated to natural heats with eight scanned in calf in late May. It’s the first time we have used AI and we would be keen to use it again.”

Selling cattle: “We finish male cattle as young bulls and should have animals ready to kill next month. Heifers are normally finished, but we are starting to sell a few at breeding sales.”

Silage and slurry: “Silage was harvested later than normal after a cold spring. Thankfully, it bulked out well when the good weather came and we harvested grass during dry conditions in mid-June. The weather was good last week and we got slurry spread on silage ground. Second-cut should be ready to harvest in mid-August. After grass will be used for pushing lambs through to finish.”

Clipping sheep: “I clip our sheep myself and with silage and slurry out of the way, I started clipping sheep late last week. When things are going well, I can clip around 90 ewes per day, so three days will comfortably get the job done.”

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Thrive: maintaining grass quality in a dairy beef system

Sheep Price: base quotes steady at €7.00/kg to €7.10/kg