On Thursday 11 March, the BETTER farm NI programme will hold a webinar featuring three of the farmers who participated in the latest phase of the programme.

Start time is at 8pm and the event is free for all to view on on the Irish Farmers Journal website.

The BETTER Farm NI programme was launched in 2017 and reached its conclusion at the end of 2020.

Across the nine programme farms, gross margin per hectare increased from £602 (€691) in the baseline year (2016) to £1,003/ha (€1,153) – a 67% increase.

This excludes any farm subsidies, and while fixed costs have to be deducted from gross margin, it is a significant increase in farm income to cover such costs.


The three farmers who will participate in the webinar are:

  • Oliver McKenna, Co Tyrone. Oliver runs 50 suckler cows on 26.6ha split between spring and autumn calving. All male cattle are finished as young bulls, with surplus heifers sold live.
  • Barry Carty, Co Fermanagh. Barry runs 60 autumn and winter calving suckler cows on 64.5ha of SDA land. All cows are bred to AI with progeny sold live as yearling stores around 400kg to 450kg liveweight.
  • Alastair McNeilly, Co Antrim. Alastair runs 100 spring calving cows on 58.9ha of grassland. Cattle are Limousin and Angus cross animals with male cattle finished as steers along with surplus heifers.
  • Along with discussing the changes to their farming systems, there will be video footage of cow type, calves produced and land type.

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