Grass10 Beef Grass­land Farmer of the Year

Irish Examiner - Farming - - BEEF SECTOR -

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.

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