The Irish Grassland Association (IGA) Beef conference will take place on Thursday, (June 20th) in the Abbeyleix Manor Hotel, Cork Road, Abbeyleix, Co. Laois with registration at 10 am.
The conference will start at 10:30 am, while the event concludes at 4pm.
- Soil Health - Paper delivered by Agricultural Consultant John Geraghty,
- Suckler Herd Profitability - Teagasc beef specialist Aidan Murray is going to answer the question “can suckling be profitable?”,
- The Irish Beef Industry - Where to from here? - Matt Dempsey will comment on the Irish beef industry.
After the three papers have been delivered, Dr Stan Lalor - Grassland Agro and IGA Council Member - will chair a forum entitled “What are the on-farm options for beef farmers in these challenging times?”
The forum panel comprises of
- Robin Talbot - a commercial suckler and tillage farmer, producing quality cattle for the Irish and European markets,
- Eddie Connell farms in partnership with his son Aidan they run a mixed beef, sheep and tillage farm finishing purchased continental weanlings as bulls,
- Thomas O' Connor runs a 100-cow suckler herd in partnership with his parents with all progeny finished to beef; additional weanlings are purchased for finishing. The O'Connors also farm sheep, pigs and tillage.
The afternoon session will be held on the farm of Ken Graham on the outskirts of Mountrath in South Laois.
The beef enterprise will be focused on during the farm visit, comprising of 55 suckler cows with all male progeny finished as bulls under 16 months and heifers at 21 months.
The 55 suckler cows and two breeding bulls are grazed together as one group in one-hectare paddocks. The 27 beef heifers are grazed together in one group.
Ken has 40 ha of land laid out in 34 paddocks, with the provision for subdivision of paddocks when necessary. Good grassland management is to the fore on the Graham farm with just shy of 10 tonnes of grass dry matter/ha grown and utilised on the farm with the recent exception of the blip year (2018) as described by Ken.
The all grass farm carries a stocking rate of 2.31 lu/ha producing a beef output of 834 kgs of live weight per ha.
The exceptional breeding performance means a calving interval of 361 days alongside a calving season of 9 weeks, resulting in 1.05 calves produced per cow per year. All heifers calve down at 24 months of age.
The combination of excellent herd fertility combined with superb grassland management results in a gross margin per ha in 2018 of €634 - a significant drop in comparison to 2017 when a gross margin/ha of €981 was achieved. The drop-in profitability is accounted for by additional feed cost incurred due to the drought in 2018.
Booking is essential so book your tickets early.
To book, click here or phone Maura at 087-9626483
#igabeef conf + farm walk 20th June @abbeyleixmanor. Enjoy a day off farm with like minded farmers. @msd_ah @MullinahoneO. Farmer speaks incl @AutumnCalver, Matt Dempsey @farmersjournal + @teagasc. RT's + whatsapps appreciated. Ticket booking essential https://t.co/5hIKs4k8F1. pic.twitter.com/vzb4hEnhZ9— Irish Grassland Association (@IrishGrassland) June 8, 2019