16t of grass dry mat­ter per hectare and 8.5 graz­ings per pad­dock makes Mac­na­ma­ras tops for grass­land

Irish Examiner - Farming - - DAIRY SECTOR - Stephen Cado­gan

John and Olivia Macna­mara, Knock­ainey, Co Lim­er­ick, are the over­all win­ner of the Grass­land Farmer of the Year Award.

They grew 16t of grass dry mat­ter per hectare, and had 8.5 graz­ings per pad­dock. They also won the dairy en­ter­prise cat­e­gory. Other cat­e­gory win­ners were Niall Moloney, Crec­ora, Co Lim­er­ick (Young Grass­land Farmer of the Year); Danny Ber­ming­ham, Doon­beg, Co Clare (heavy soils/ dis­ad­van­taged land); Michael Ryan, Cashel, Co Tip­per­ary (south­ern re­gion); Peter Far­rell, Kilmes­san, Co Meath (north­ern re­gion); To­mas O’leary, Head­ford, Ki­lar­ney, Co Kerry (sheep en­ter­prise award); and John Watchorn, New Ross, Co Wex­ford (beef en­ter­prise award). Grass­land Merit Awards went to John Leahy, Athea, Co Lim­er­ick (most im­proved grass­land); and Neill Boland, En­nis­crone, Co Sligo (graz­ing man­age­ment). The five other na­tional finalists were Sean Kennedy, Din­gle, Co Kerry; Deni La­hart, Kells, Co Kilkenny; Brian Ni­chol­son, John­stown, Co Kilkenny; John Raggett, Stoney­ford, Co Kilkenny; Mitchell and Siob­han Hayes, Blar­ney, Co Cork.

The awards, to­talling €30,000, funded and spon­sored by the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Food and the Ma­rine, recognise farm­ers achiev­ing high lev­els of grass util­i­sa­tion in a sus­tain­able man­ner. At the awards cer­e­mony, Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Michael Creed said the com­pe­ti­tion is show­ing farm­ers what can be

done with at­ten­tion to de­tail and grass mea­sure­ment. Teagasc Chair­man Liam Her­lihy said: “2018 has taught us how im­por­tant grass production is to our beef, sheep and dairy en­ter­prises. “It gives us our com­par­a­tive ad­van­tage in ru­mi­nant based production sys­tems. ”The Teagasc web based grass­land sys­tem, Pas­tureBase Ire­land, is a crit­i­cal re­source to these farm­ers’ grass­land man­age­ment sys­tems.” The awards are part of the Teagasc Grass10 cam­paign sup­ported by Teagasc, the Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture, Food and the Ma­rine, AIB, FBD In­sur­ance, Grass­land Agro and the Ir­ish Farm­ers Jour­nal.

The main aims of this fouryear cam­paign are to achieve 10t of grass dry mat­ter per hectare utilised, and 10 graz­ings per pad­dock, per year.

Pic­tures: O’gor­man Pho­tog­ra­phy

Grass­land Farmer of the Year award pre­sen­ta­tions to, left, south­ern re­gion win­ner Michael Ryan, Cashel, Co Tip­per­ary, and right, com­pe­ti­tion fi­nal­ist Sean Kennedy, Din­gle, Co Kerry, with award spon­sors, from left, Liam Woulfe, Grass­land Agro; Justin Mccarthy, Editor, Ir­ish Farm­ers Jour­nal; Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Michael Creed; Padraig Walsh, FBD In­sur­ance (and chair­man, Teagasc Grass10 stake­holder com­mit­tee); Liam Her­lihy, Teagasc Chair­man; and Tadhg Buck­ley, AIB.

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