Better Farm Beef Challenge NI autumn walks

Darren Carty and Darryl Boyd discussing plans for the forthcoming BFBC event on his farm on Thursday 5 September.
Darren Carty and Darryl Boyd discussing plans for the forthcoming BFBC event on his farm on Thursday 5 September.

The Better Farm Beef Challenge (BFBC) NI programme is running two open farm events this autumn.

The programme which is a joint initiative between CAFRE, ABP food group and the Irish Farmers Journal currently has ten farm participants from across Northern Ireland which are used to highlight practices that are helping them improve their farm profitability.

The two events will be held on the farms of Paul Jamison’s in Co Down and Barry Carty’s in Co Fermanagh.

Paul is focusing on producing beef from an intensive bull beef system. The farm is targeting a stocking rate of 2.67 LU/ha from 70 predominantly Limousin bred cows. Since joining the programme Paul has improved the use of grass, both grazed and as silage on farm. Cows are managed in two separate paddock grazing systems which will be outlined on the night. Cows are being bred to Limousin, Aberdeen Angus and Stabiliser sires to introduce more maternal traits into the replacements. So far in 2019 bulls have averaged 0.86 kilos of carcase gain per day with an average carcase weight of 397kilos, U+ 2=. Safe and modern handling facilities have also been invested in on the farm which will be reviewed on the night.

Barry Carty is focusing on producing high quality calves from his 60 cow suckler herd suitable for sale as weanlings or year-olds at local livestock markets. Spring born 2018 steers had an average sale weight of 446 kilos at 13.5 months. Due to heavy clay soils and multiple land blocks Barry splits his calving periods between autumn and spring. DIY Artificial Insemination is used across the majority of the herd. He uses terminal Charolais sires across all cows with replacement breeding stock purchased locally.

The event on Paul Jamison’s farm will take place on Thursday 29 August and will commence at 7pm. The farm is situated at 34 Glen Road, Dromore, Co Down, BT25 1JX and will be signposted from the main Waringstown to Banbridge road. Barry Carty’s event will take place on Thursday 5 September and will have two sessions with the first commencing at 2pm and the second at 7pm. The farm is situated at 47 Brollagh Road, Garrison, BT93 4AE and will be signposted from Garrison village. These events are free with all interested farmers welcome to attend.