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