Name: Jamie Hayes
Enterprise: Suckler cows and finishing all progeny
- Suckler cows: 41;
- Cull cows: 10;
- Calves: 51;
- Maiden heifers: 9
- Yearlings: 41;
- 24 months: 22;
- Stock bulls: 2.
Since the TB test, we have gone down as eight animals were diagnosed with TB; these animals are separated from the herd and are being kept in a pen on the home farm.
These animals have been blood-tested and are also valued. Hopefully, they will be taken to the factory by the end of this week and because of this, we may have to blood test the rest of the cows to see if there are any more reactors.
There was lime spread both at home and on the outside farm last Friday. We spread 40-acres on the outside farm at 2 tonnes per acre and 20 acres at home at 2 tonnes per acre also. Conditions are still very good but growth has slowed down considerably.
The cows and calves were brought in last Wednesday week and we weaned the calves from the cows. We have the calves at one side of the shed on slats and the cows are across the feed passage from them on slats and cubicles.
The cows are being fed hay so that they will dry up and the calves that are weaned are being fed silage and are receiving 1kg of nuts per animal.
The potatoes will hopefully be finished by this time next week and then the year will be getting quiet. If it dries up the in-calve heifers will be kept outside along with the cull cows weather permitting. Also, the 1 ½-year-olds on the outside farm will be kept outside while conditions are good and if not, they will have to be brought in.
Name: Aaron and Lorraine Delaney - Ballynevin Organic Farm.
Location: Co. Laois
We had a great week on Ballynevin Organic Farm with early mornings and late evenings out moving strip wires on the rape crop so as we could attend the Biological Farming Conference in Tullamore.
The conference was on Monday and Tuesday in the Bridge House Hotel and was organised by NOTS (National Organic Training Skills).
The event was a great success and we were lucky to have presentations from some world leaders in biological farming such as Gary Zimmer; Joel Williams and Dan Kittredge as well as Irish practitioners including Robbie Byrne; Clive Pratt; John McHugh; Jim Cronin and many more.
Joel Williams started off saying “we are in a paradigm transition towards a complete way to look at soils” - design with diversity is key to Biological Farming practice and a move away from monocultures.
Gary Zimmer gave us his first-hand experience of organic farming all over the world and he told us an old saying “all men who have turned out worth anything have had the chief hand in their own education” - Sir Walter Scot.
Dan Kittredge got us to rethink health-care; he said we are paying the doctor to make us better when in fact we should be paying the farmer to keep us healthy. He also highlighted that 50 years ago people spent a 1/3 of their wages on food and now we spend as little as 2-3% on food.
We had a great time and the conference and we made valuable contacts with organic and biological farmers around the country and throughout the world with farmers travelling from as far away as Sweden the US the U.K. to attend.
Back in Ballynevin now, we killed five Angus bullocks yesterday (Thursday) with Goodherdsmen; we dropped them down to Cahir on Wednesday night we are looking forward to seeing how they kill out and looking forward to seeing the kill sheet post-mortum results for the lungs and liver as these animals were never dosed.
Name: Michael Danagher
Location: Errill, Co. Laois
Enterprise: Pedigree Charolais herd with a number of commercial breeding females with 60% Shorthorn blood and some Charolais and Belgian-Blue influence. 60% of progeny finished on-farm.
This week, we power-washed and disinfected our calved cow shed and bedded the lie back area; we will be putting them indoors at the weekend.
We put in the last of our bulls into the shed; they are being fed silage and nuts. We are sorting the rest of our heifers bringing in the heaviest and leaving the lighter ones out for another week or two.
We got woodchip delivered for bedding to save our straw; we bedded down the sheds on Thursday. All our calves will be dosed and put into a bedded shed for winter also.
We have a few cows that need their hooves clipped and our stock bull needs his paired too; this is being done today (Friday) before housing.