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Why this Meath farmer doesn’t touch his crops between sowing and harvesting

Donal Keane insists weeding isn’t worth the time and effort on his organic farm — he focuses on getting the soil in top condition. He has also added Wagyu calves to his Angus herd, which complements the tillage operation

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Zeal of the converted: Donal and Frederique Keane on Camelton Farm in Summerhill, Co Meath. Photos: Seamus Farrelly

Zeal of the converted: Donal and Frederique Keane on Camelton Farm in Summerhill, Co Meath. Photos: Seamus Farrelly

The Angus herd

The Angus herd

A field of Donal's wheat

A field of Donal's wheat

'Oats are particularly good at keeping weeds down'

'Oats are particularly good at keeping weeds down'

A slatted shed

A slatted shed

A suckler cow and calf

A suckler cow and calf

Visitors on the farm walk

Visitors on the farm walk

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Zeal of the converted: Donal and Frederique Keane on Camelton Farm in Summerhill, Co Meath. Photos: Seamus Farrelly

Once the cereal crops on Donal Keane’s organic farm are sown, “I close the gate and it doesn’t open again until the combine goes in to harvest them”.

Donal, who converted his 153ac farm, Camelton Stud in Summerhill, Co Meath to organic 11 years ago, says some people use machinery for weeding but his thinking is: “Spend your time, your money and your knowledge on getting the soil in really top condition and the soil will sort everything else out for you.


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