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2014 autumn Visit to John & Jonathan Carson, Downpatrick

Event Details

  • Date: 16 Sep 2014
  • Venue: 54 Ballyculter Road, Downpatrick, Co Down, BT30 7BD

The 2014 autumn beef visit was to the farm of John and Jonathan Carson,  54 Ballyculter Road,  Downpatrick,  Co Down, BT30 7BD on Tuesday evening, 16th September.

The Carsons farm a total of 166 ha (410 acres) of which 81 ha (200) are owned.  Approximately 14 ha of cereals are grown which are generally under-sown with a hybrid/red clover sward for either silage production or early grazing (lightly seeded) in the following spring. The farm is in  is in the Countryside Management Scheme.


90 autum  and spring calving suckler cows are the main eneterprise on the farm with a flock of approximately 30 ewes.  The herd is mated to Limousin and Charolais stock bulls.  The ewe flock lambs down in February and March

Stock Sales:
Steers are sold from 23 to 26 months of age at an average carcase weight of 390 kg.
Heifers are sold  at 20-22 months, producing an average carcase weight of 322 kg.

Organic Production:

The farm has been in organic production since 2006.

Grassland Management/Efficiency Measures:

    • Every effort made to maximise production from grazed grass.
    • Turnout to hybrid/red clover swards occurs from mid-February.
    • ‘Block’ grazing is practised on the silage swards both early and late in the season to minimise poaching damage and to maximise grass growth rates.
    • Majority of stock are grazed using a rotational grazing system with up to 9 paddocks/divisions per group.
    • Uses ‘Grazing Days Ahead’ method in order to more accurately gauge grass supply/demand situation. Regular topping to control grass quality.
    • Autumn calves forward creep grazed from December to maximise growth rate.
    • Early weaning is practised for both the spring and autumn herds.

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