Impressive returns on Fermanagh beef unit

50 February 23 1970 impressive SM Farm

A gross margin of £50 a cow is a figure that is not exceptional for many dairy farms, but it is an impressive return from a beef breeding herd on some of the worst land in Northern Ireland.

Two years ago a small demonstration farm, typical of the area, was set up by the Ministry of Agriculture nearby the grassland experimental centre at Castle Archdale in County Fermanagh and on Friday the unit was open to the public.

The Dumaran demonstraton farm is 34½ acres in size and carries 28 suckling cows, making a stocking rate of one cow and calf to 1.23 acres.

The land is typical of the area, heavy and partly steep and it is obvious that under these conditions and high rainfall that there is a long period of winter housing.

To offset the short grazing season, a fair amount of fertiliser is used up to 200 units of nitrogen with 60 units of both super phosphate and potash.

The 28 large Aberdeen Angus-type cows are housed for six winter months in a byre that has been converted with wooden cubicles.

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