Teagasc Green Acres farmer outlines system in ‘Beef Edge Masterclass’ podcast
By Seán Cummins, Teagasc Green Acres programme advisor
JP Hammersley – a participant in the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme – outlined his system of production as part of the latest Teagasc ‘Beef Edge Masterclass’ podcast series.
Farming part-time in Lattin, Co. Tipperary, JP operates a system where Friesian steers are carried to beef.
Originally all animals were slaughtered at 28-30 months. However, to improve both profitability and cash-flow, calf numbers have increased and slaughtering will be split 50:50 between 24 and 28 month steers, with a target carcass weight of 320kg and 350kg respectively.
Presented by Teagasc beef specialist Catherine Egan, JP outlines all the aspects of his calf-to-beef operation, which he manages with an average labour input of 18 hours per week.
Topics covered include:
- Calf sourcing and rearing;
- Grassland management;
- Soil fertility;
- Animal performance;
- Health protocols being implemented at farm level.
Calves are purchased from one local dairy farmer at four weeks-of-age and arrive in batches of 10-12. This has worked well for JP over the years, as he knows he’s buying a healthy calf from a known source.
In relation to grass, JP discusses the grazing management and infrastructure on the farm, with a paddock system of 45 paddocks installed for the three main grazing groups.
In addition, animal performance is monitored with weighing occurring on three occasions during the year – turnout, mid-season and housing, with the targets and 2020 liveweight performance of animals detailed at length.
The full podcast can be accessed here.