Green Acres farmers achieve top accolades for grassland management

It has been a positive day for farmers in the Teagasc Green Acres Calf-to-Beef programme as two participants have claimed top accolades at the ‘Grassland Farmer of the Year 2020’ awards, held on Tuesday (January 19).

From a total of 15 finalists, Pat Collins from Castlemartyr in Co. Cork took first placing in the ‘Beef Production (non-suckling)’ category.

Pat operates a tillage enterprise in the south of the country, alongside his dairy calf-to-beef enterprise. During 2020, he purchased close to 180 head of calves.

These calves were rotated every 24-36 hours during the grazing season on a well laid out paddock system and central roadway. Pat’s whole farm has been reseeded over the past three to four years and during 2020 he grew an impressive 15t DM/ha.

In the grassland merit awards, JP Hammersley from Lattin in Co. Tipperary was awarded top ranking in the ‘Sustainable Grassland’ category.

JP’s farm, consisting of 37ha, has been divided up into 45 paddocks which has been managed effectively by having an excellent grazing infrastructure and a reseeding plan in place.

The farm has been incorporating more clover into swards and will continue to do so through over-sowing and full reseeding. Sustainable beef production is the main focus on the Tipperary-based farm.

Commenting on the achievements by the two Green Acres farmers, Alan Dillon, manager of the Teagasc Green Acres Calf-to-Beef programme, stated:

I would like to congratulate Pat and JP on their achievements in the Grassland Farmer of the Year awards.

“They both have embraced all the technologies of grassland management and have paid serious attention to detail on growing and utilising grass in a sustainable manner for the last number of years.

“Credit must go to their Green Acres programme advisor Seán Cummins and their local Teagasc B&T advisors Ruth Fennell and Joe Hand for working with these farmers to help them develop their grassland management skills.”