Grass10 Beef Grassland Farmer of the Year
Gerard Dineen from Kilnamartyra, Macroom, Co Cork hs been awarded the inaugural Teagasc Grass10 Beef Grassland Farmer of the Year Award. A strong focus on grassland management and utilisation is a priority for Gerard, farming full-time with 60 cows plus replacements and finishing all bulls to beef on his 31-hectare farm.
He grew almost 14 tonnes/ha of grass last year. In addition, overall costs of production have decreased drastically, with meal allocation to finishing animals more than halved since focusing more on grassland management and utilisation. Gerard was chosen from over 100 entries to the Teagasc Grass10 competition.
Key lessons or take-away messages from the recent awards event in Teagasc Moorepark included the importance of getting infrastructure in order (farm roadways, paddock entrances, fencing, water troughs, etc); knowing your soil fertility and adhering to a wellconstructed soil nutrient man- agement plan; knowing your targets and sticking to the basics (opening/closing targets, grazing out paddocks well, applying nitrogen early to maximise spring growth, etc). Finally, a common trait among all the finalists was measuring grass regularly, monitoring it and making decisions promptly, using good data. Speaking after the event, AIB Agri Advisor Donal Whelton said: “AIB is delighted to partner with Teagasc and the other sponsors involved in the Grass10 initiative. I would like to compliment and congratulate Gerard and his family on their award and hope that other farmers will take inspiration from their achievements and attend the various Grass10 initiatives throughout the country. “Our message to farmers has consistently been to invest in the assets that deliver most for their farm business. With a definite correlation with on-farm profitability, affording greater focus and attention to grass measurement and utilisation certainly falls within this bracket and should be a priority for all livestock farm operations.” The Grassland farmer of the year awards are part of the Grass10 campaign which is supported by Teagasc, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, AIB, FBD Insurance, Grassland Agro and the Irish Farmers Journal.
Gerard & Gobnait Dineen, Kilnamartyra, Macroom, Co Cork winners of the Beef Category, at the Grassland Farmer of the Year Awards.