‘Low inputs and low impacts on a beef farm’. Join us for our next #Askthefarmer Q&A with Pat McKenna from Monaghan next Tuesday 14th June at 8pm.
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Pat Mckenna farms a Dexter suckler herd in Co. Monaghan. The farm is situated on 60 acres of marginal land at the foothills of Sliabh Beagh. The herd consists of about 90 cattle and Pat operates a calf to beef system. The premium Dexter beef is sold direct to restaurants and local customers. Last year Pat took part in the Sliabh Beagh conservation grazing trial. The objective of this trial is to reduce fire risks on the mountain. Sliabh Beagh is also a hen harrier protected area. “Using cattle and a conservation grazing system on the mountain aims to improve the habitat by breaking down the pasture, loosening it and opening it up.” This means there is more life on the ground thus providing a better chance for the hen harrier and other ground nesting birds. Pat operates a low input farming system. No chemical fertilizer is used on the land. The only inputs are farmyard manure, slurry and dry bedding. Pat’s farm is located in a curlew protected area, as such he does not cut any grass until July/August. There is a traditional hay meadow on the farm of about 7 acres. There was 12 acres of broadleaf forestry planted 8 years ago, which provides a habitat for many birds and creatures.
More information on the Q&As here.