I finish: “120 cattle, 80 store lambs and breed 25 pedigree Rouge and Beltex sheep on 30ac owned and 80ac rented alongside my wife Nora, daughters Clodagh and Aobhinn and son Jack.”

Cattle: “I buy 100 continental weanling heifers and 20 bullocks every year and finish them at two and a half years old. I buy all year round but avoid the main weanling sales of October and November. Most of them are bought in Gortatlea Mart and 90% of them are Charolais cross. I have my own scales and like their feed conversion, particularly when they get a bit of age. With the price of ration now, you have to be prudent there.”

Feed: “I feed good-quality silage and a straightforward mix of high maize, barley and corn gluten. I typically sell from October to the factory or the mart, depending on where prices are. We’re being told the beef trade will be positive in the spring but I’m holding off on deciding whether to push them on now or finish off grass next year. I wouldn’t have the ground for big 650kg heifers though.”

Store lambs: “I source 80 lowland store lambs through an agent from west Kerry. They come in at 32kg to 35kg and I’m getting them into the routine now for meal feeding and they’ve a pile of grass ahead of them. They’ll be housed in mid-December and I’ll push them on to finish at 46kg to 48kg liveweight by 1 February. The 25 pedigree ewes lamb in the shed from then until 15 March and I sell all ram lambs in the society sales.”

Adviser: “I’ve been an adviser for 25 years. We’ve a very busy time now with ACRES. It’s straightforward for a lot of our lads down here with commonage but there’s a lot of time involved in the application. We’ve a lot of farmers in the co-operation zone but it’s not as attractive a scheme for the 100ac grassland farmer.”