Thomas O’Connor run a family farm near the Village of Moone in South Kildare. The farm is run as a partnership between Thomas and his parents Monica and Tom. 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`Connor’s paddock graze the cattle in large groups during the grazing season. The 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, and up 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 of all paddocks. The three pillars supporting excellent output are to be seen on this farm namely, Breeding, Grassland Management, Livestock Management. Thomas is 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.
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