I still work our small family farm in Leitrim with my father, mainly at the weekends. Our farm is on the slopes of the mountain and we have rights to a section of commonage. Locally our section is known as “Jacks Mountain”. A few weeks ago we were bringing down some hogget’s from the mountain, when I stumbled across some stones. On closer inspection I realised the stones were part of a ruined wall. Continue reading “Have Irish farmers failed to learn from mistakes that lead to the famine?”
Brexit: Horror Show
The Brexit countdown clock is clicking steadily to its October 31st deadline and I have to wonder it the date wasn’t chosen as a metaphor. The last three years of uncertainty, of shocks and scares intermitted with moments of calm farce to lighten the mood and give a false sense of security. All leading to what is looking like a climactic near death experience of a nation, or nation! It’s a perfect horror story for telling in the dark, torch under your face, to frighten all and sundry. Continue reading “BREXIT: Is the perfect Halloween story coming to an end?”
Dectomax: The best time for use is now!
It’s getting close to that time again when farmers are preparing for housing. Getting sheds ready and organised is foremost for many. Laying out a closing off plan for paddocks and fields is another thing on the mind. You should also have a parasite control plan in place from the start of the year. Unfortunately many are only now considering what wormer to use once the cows are in; before putting it on the long finger again. However now is actually a perfect time to think about dosing your animal’s pre housing! Continue reading “Is this the best Housing Dose Plan For 2019?”
Beef Protests are still ongoing with no end in sight. Factories are refusing to negotiate and have instead opted to declare war on protestors by threatening lawsuits. This has, justifiably, only further angered the farmers who are already fighting for their survival. Let’s not forget that these companies and CEO’s owe all their good fortune to these very farmers. They are the people producing the top quality product that these companies are able to market with a Bord Bia sticker to virtually any market in the world at a premium price. Yet when it comes to dealing fairly with their suppliers they show a complete lack of respect or empathy for their plight. It is for this reason that I started to wonder where is the Irish farmers “fair trade” sticker. Continue reading “Does Irish Beef need a Fair Trade equivalent?”
Farmer on holiday
If your significant other is a farmer then you are probably aware of how difficult it can be to organise a getaway. Summer in particular can be a very difficult time to pry them away on a holiday. Some of the reasons are simply down to being self employed. As any self employed person will tell you it’s hard to put off work you can’t afford to miss out on. However farming comes with the added pressure that comes with having to work around weather, animals and deadlines/ open dates from the department. For that reason many farmers struggle to find the time to leave. Continue reading “6 Tips for planning your holiday with a Farmer”
The announcement of the 100 million beef fund just before the election was a huge relief for most beef farmers. It seemed that, finally, there was a brief ray of hope to cut through the cloud of depression that has been hanging over the industry. Unfortunately it was to be short lived. No sooner had voting finished than we got the old “oh by the way…” that seems to come with everything the government tells us. It was announced that to be entitled to the Beef fund we would have to reduce our beef herd. But I have to ask the question, why? Continue reading “Beef fund-Who are we farming for?”
The cows are calved and out to grass in all parts of the country. Now you are probably thinking about your animals’ fertility and getting them back in calf. So begins the regular checking of your animals. Hoping to ensure you catch them at the optimal time for the A.I! Trying to figure out which is the best option tail paint or heat seeker pads; Doing up the pros and cons of each from price, ease of use, and accuracy. It’s a lot of hassle and stress. Maybe you’ve decided it’s better to just let a bull out, hope for the best and see what scans in calf in the autumn.
Whichever way you go you’re only wasting time and money if you haven’t first put in place a fertility plan. Continue reading “Cow Fertility- Do you know what it takes?”
Many farmers I know often say that reseeding grassland is only something for big dairy farmers; “I can’t afford that” is their call. However reseeding has many advantages and should be considered an essential for any and all livestock farmers.
There are many benefits of reseeding grassland for all farmers aiming to produce meat and/or milk at the lowest cost. Reseeding grassland on a farm brings positives to both the quantity and quality of grass grown. Continue reading “Reseeding Grassland: What’s the Benefits for your farm?”
Feeding animals is the single biggest cost on any livestock farm. But we can control what we feed animals. Grazed grass is by far cheaper than any other feed that we have available to us in Ireland. If grass isn’t making the diet, more expensive silage and conserved feed will have to fill the gap. Reseeding your grassland can ensure you get the more feed from your ground. Continue reading “Reseeding- Feed your animals from home grown feed”
A lot of farmers have been troubled by Coccidiosis, be it with lambs or Calves. Most simply ask a vet or a fellow farmer for advice on how to treat it. They never actually understand what it is they’re dealing with. So I decided to have a better look at what coccidiosis is and how we can avoid it on our farms. Continue reading “Coccidiosis- What is it really?”