Beef Conf & Farm Walk 24th May

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Beef Conference

To book tickets click here

The Irish Grassland Association Beef conference will take place on Thursday May 24th in the Clonard Court Hotel, Dublin Road, Athy, Co. Kildare. This year the conference will focus on three areas:

  • Maximising grass growth on beef farms.
  • What the science of breeding can do to increase the chances of genetic gain in the Beef herd .
  • Beef producers –connecting with the final consumer.

Morning session

Morning Session

The Irish Grassland Association are delighted to have suckler to beef farmer Ger Dineen speak at this years’ conference. Ger was the Beef Enterprise Grassland farmer award winner in 2017 . In his presentation Ger will outline how he achieved a beef output figure of 999 kgs live weight per hectare on a heavy farm, by targeting grassland management to grow and utilise high quantities of grass.

Teagasc Research Geneticist Dr Donagh Berry will try to answer the question ‘Will breeding the best with the best always give you the best?’.  The science behind animal breeding can be a complex subject and in his presentation Donagh will explain the role that science has in delivering on the breeding decisions made at farm level.

The importance of beef producers making connections with the final consumer will be discussed by Professor Patrick Wall.  Professor Wall is a Vet and Medical doctor and is uniquely qualified to comment on the issues that interest both the primary producer and consumer.  In his presentation, Professor Wall will discuss the importance of establishing good connections between the primary producer and final consumer in order to achieve sustainability.

AThomas Connorsfternoon farm visit

The afternoon session will be held on the O’Connor family farm near the village of Moone in South Kildare. The farm is run as a partnership by Monica, Tom and their son Thomas.  This is a truly mixed farm with four enterprises on the farm comprising Beef, Sheep, Tillage and Pigs. In 2015 Thomas was the winner of the FBD Young Beef Farmer of the year competition.

The beef enterprise will be focused on during the farm visit, comprising 90 Suckler cows with all male progeny finished as bulls under 16 months and heifers at 21 months. Each year 200 additional cattle are purchased for finishing comprising both young bulls and heifers. The unique feature of this farm is the way the O`Connors paddock graze the cattle in large groups during the grazing season.

  • 90 Suckler cows and four breeding bulls are grazed together as one group in two hectare paddocks.
  • Up to 77 young bulls have been grazed in one group for the grazing season.
  • Up to 100 heifers are grazed together in one group.

Grassland management is excellent with all the farm laid out in 2 ha paddocks, with the provision for subdivision in all paddocks. The three pillars supporting excellent output are to be seen on this farm namely: Breeding, Grassland Management and Livestock Management. The O`Connors are achieving an annual stocking rate of 3.3 livestock units per ha and a beef output of 1,498 live weight per hectare.  Grass utilised in 2017 was 11.5 tonnes of dry matter per hectare.

This is an event not to be missed with a combination of an excellent indoor session and a farm visit where the results of excellent grassland management are to be seen on a commercial beef farm.

Beef Conference

Click here to download leaflet


We would like to thank our sponsors MSD and Mullinahone Co op

msdmullinahone co-op


Posted on Wednesday, 11 April 2018  |  By Irish Grassland Association
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