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.