- Date: 30 May 2019
A group of 25 UGS members travelled to visit Scatterrnagh farm near Swords Co. Dublin where farm manager Donal Callery manages a herd of 150 suckler cows – beef enterprise. Total Farm area is 134 ha. (350 acres) with 84 ha. in grass and 46 ha. in potatoes. Stocking rate is high at 2.76 LU / ha or1.12 Lu /acre. The farm has a very long grazing season from mid-February until the end of November. Tillage is grown on farm to coincide with a reseeding programme. The farm is growing in the region of 13 t /dm /ha.
The farm is run in conjunction with Skidoo Charolais Herd where 120 pedigree Charolais Cows are run.
The second visit was to the Delaney family farm near Dunshaughlin, Co Meath. Michael and his son Ronan farm 3 seperate units; the home farm 100ac and 2 outfarms of approximately 50ac each (200 in total).
They run about 420 mature ewes and about 50-70 ewe lambs with all lambs except replacements slaughtered off grass in ICM Navan. Some years they buy in store lambs during August.
They also purchase about 175 beef heifers annually, all bought in as stores from the west of Ireland. They try to buy heifers that will finish off grass.
Half of the farm has been reseeded in last 10-15yrs but there are some leys which have not been reseeded for a long time. the swards have a high clover content which reduces the level of inorganic fertiliser applied. A mixed grazing system of sheep and beef heifers is used resulting in evenly grazed pastures. The farm is set up for rotational grazing, but they do not measure grass with a plate meter.
Additional income on the farm comes from 3 self-catering holiday apartments.