Running a suckler cow and sheep farm on 450ac to feature at Grassland beef conference

Award-winning Welsh beef and sheep farmer, Glasnant Morgan will take centre stage at this year’s Irish Grassland Association (IGA) beef conference.

The IGA beef conference will take place in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Co. Limerick tomorrow, April 27.

Morgan runs a herd of 50 autumn-calving suckler cows and a flock of 850 ewes on a 450ac farm.

Morgan will speak about how grazed grass is an integral part of his farm, as he tries to maximise self-sufficiency.

Our sole aim is to produce offspring so we graze the grass hard, that’s the only way to keep on top of it.

Farmers will also learn about the steps they can take to increase to the number of days they keep their cattle at grass will be highlighted at the upcoming Irish Grassland Association (IGA) beef conference.

Teagasc’s Michael O’Donovan and Micheal O’Leary will present the most recent findings from PastureBase Ireland.

The Teagasc representatives will discuss the variation in annual grass growth on beef farms across the country, especially during spring time.

PastureBase is showing that very little grazing is occurring on beef farms during spring, which results in higher feeding and slurry management costs.

Both O’Donovan and O’Leary will show how earlier turnout can reduce some of the costs of keeping cattle during the spring time.

They will also speak about the importance of early grazing for setting up pasture for subsequent rotations, as poor spring utilisation will have a negative effect on pasture quality later in the spring.

They will also discuss how the number of grazings from each paddock affect the amount of grass grown and what targets farmers should set throughout the year.

Breeding

The conference will also feature a session on breeding and an overview of the most recent research will be presented by Teagasc’s Mervyn Parr.

Parr will discuss the latest research findings on the synchronisation of beef cows to facilitate cost- and labour-effective use of AI and remove the need for heat detection.

This has potential to increase the use of AI on suckler herds and to reduce calving intervals thus, improving the compactness of calving on many herds, according to the association.

Already, the research is reported to be showing very promising results which could have significant implications for the suckler sector.

Parr will also speak about infectious diseases and trace elements and how they are linked to suckler cow fertility.

The IGA beef conference will also include a focus session on financial management. The importance of cash flow management and steps to developing your cash flow statement will be outlined.

Registering for the conference

The conference which is sponsored by Mullinahone Co-op and Gene Ireland costs €30 for IGA members and €60 for now members. This includes tea or coffee on arrival and a hot lunch.

Registration begins at 10.30am on Wednesday and you can book your place at www.irishgrassland.com

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