Going back to the grassroots
Clifford Richardson is eyeing up two major changes after a difficult spring, on his Leitrim farm
Published 11/05/2016 | 02:30
The first steps in the newly drawn-up three year plan for the farm will see grassland management tackled before any changes to flock size.
The newest farmer to take part in SheepTech is planning to follow the steps now well-established in the dairy industry by moving to a paddock style system.
Clifford (33) plans to establish two grazing blocks with seven paddocks in each block. As part of the plan, he has also identified fields which will be reseeded this summer using the min-till method
Clifford says he will make use of the window that exists by reseeding prior to increasing stocking rate. He feels this will put less pressure on the grazing system than trying to reseed when stocking rates increase. Silage will be made from paddocks which become too high for grazing with no specific area of ground closed for silage. This will ensure that silage will be of high quality and subsequently reduce concentrate requirement of the ewes prelambing.
Grassland management is the one of the key areas of the plan he would like to perfect over the next few years.
And the difficult spring that impacted farmers all over the country through poor grass growth has emphasised the importance of strong growth to delivering results.
In 2015, there were 79 pedigree Lleyn ewes mated on the farm. After keeping them out as long as possible, ewes were housed during the last week of December.
The lambing took place over a four week period from the first week of February to the first week of March.