Martin and Marie Keating have 34 calves reared this year as part of their dairy calf to beef system. This year’s grazing season got off to a slow start due to poor weather conditions in early spring. However, since late March, conditions have been nearly perfect and the farm could actually do with some moisture at this stage.

All calves are weaned at this stage and are eating 1kg meal/day.

Over the past few years, there has been huge investment in roadways, paddock systems and soil fertility – all with the aim of growing more grass each year.

The farm is fully mapped and Martin has been measuring grass for the last three years. Every year throws up a different scenario but with extra paddocks on farm and good road infrastructure, it allows maximum flexibility to get the best use out of every blade of grass grown.

Yearling Angus heifers at grass. These heifers were 315kg at turnout in late March.

The first two surplus paddocks were taken out on 15 May, with first-cut silage due to be cut around 22 May.

Martin says that the silage crops will be slightly back on previous years as the lack of moisture starts to take effect.

However, yields should only be 10% to 15% back and quality should be excellent.

Read the full story from Martin in this week’s Irish Farmers Journal.