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 sorted out our bullocks and sold our heaviest lots at the marts, while the rest will be fed for the winter.
We are also sorting through our weanlings in order to decide what will be sold and what will be retained.
Our replacement heifers that were AI’d earlier in the year are being scanned; any heifers that are not in-calf will be fattened over the winter period.
We are disinfecting all sheds on the farm again to ensure they are virus-free before any cattle are housed.
Two of our first-calvers calved this week - one had a Limousin heifer calf and the other had a Hereford bull.
Two cows are due to calve before the weekend with another five due early next week; all cows are in-calf to our Charolais stock bull.
In the meantime, we are in the process of repairing and servicing of our silage equipment before we take extra second-cut silage; this will be cut as soon as we get another good week of weather!
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: 32;
- Stock bulls: 2.
On Wednesday, we weaned the calves from the 10 cows that were scanned empty. These cows are currently being fed hay indoors to dry them off and will then be placed on a finishing programme for slaughter.
The calves have developed a cough and runny noses over the past few days. Our vet has diagnosed this as a virus and it could last up to 2 weeks; an eye will be kept on these and if any animal gets worse, action will be taken.
Grass growth is very good at the moment and finally, the finishing unit is starting to green up as a result of the fertiliser that was spread over the past month. We are hoping this will build grass supplies for the autumn
Any remaining repairs to the sheds must be finished off. There is a chance a paddock may be taken out for silage on the home farm but this is weather-permitting.
A walk around the farm will determine if enough grass is available. Farm-yard manure must also be spread as the dungstead is full.
Name: Aaron Delaney; wife Lorraine and sons - Liam and Darragh - Ballynevin Organic Farm
Location: Co. Laois
This week, we spent the first half of the Monday setting up temporary fences in the paddocks for the group of cattle nearest to finishing. This will help with grass utilisation as some covers are now heavy and rather than cutting them at this stage we decided to graze them this will give other fields time to recover to be grazed later.
We want as much grazed grass as possible in our animal’s diet and decisions we make now will decide how we get on grazing at the back end of this year and into next spring
We got a letter from our Organic Certification body advising us that we can apply for certain derogations this year on feed and bedding due to the extreme weather of this year to date. We have until next April to apply but we will make a decision by the end of October we should know how we are fixed for this side of Christmas.
We have now secured enough straw until the middle of April and this should be sufficient, even though I was tempted to apply for the peat bedding derogation as it would be a lot easier than bedding every day and we wouldn’t have to let it rot in the spring you can spread directly out onto the land.
We have built up a very good relationship with two neighbours who supply us with straw every year and we are delighted that we can do business locally to keep the fiver going around the village.
We selected this month’s four cattle to be killed - three bullocks and a heifer all 18-months-old; in good condition and they have a nice covering.
We will weigh them live before they go to see what kill out next Thursday. Our paperwork for these animals - veterinary history - is all sent to Goodherdsmen today and they will be loaded Wednesday evening( after ploughing match) for killing Thursday, September 19th.
On the sheep side of things, we weighed 15 ram lambs born at the end of April and they averaged 42.66kg on Monday, September 10th; we are very happy with their weights as they are out of ewe lambs. They have been sold to Eddie Mulhall of Organicmeat.ie.
This week, we also finished off some paperwork and got our sheds fixed up for the winter. Our slats are now down 10 years and we check them every September to make sure they
Of course, we plan on attending the National Ploughing Match as it is a great showcase for farming and innovation.
We always look forward to our Agricultural shows as there is something for everyone at it and I always feel it should be a national holiday! We will have to be back home early on Wednesday though as the cattle have to be in Cahir by 9:30 pm.
We also hope to attend a horse race next to show our support for a friend who is a horse trainer. We like to show our support in business and sport.
Other than that, we will be spending time fencing and picking stones - it’s great fun, I’m sure you will all agree!