Gerard Dineen, Kilnamartyra, is the first of three shortlisted for the Drystock Farmer of the Year award, sponsored by Eurogene AI Services, in the 2017 West Cork Farming Awards.
AN active beef farmer for over 20 years, based at Knockroe, Kilnamartrya, Macroom, Gerard Dineen’s is a third generation operation. His set-up includes a maternal herd of 60 suckler cows and he's been part of Teagasc Better Beef Farmer scheme from 2010 to 2015.
An example of his unique approach is his system of allowing calves graze ahead of the cows by raising the electric fence wire. Essentially it’s a leader-follower system – just with the calves taking the lead
Gerard carries out his own AI and the average Eurostar index of his herd is e146.
KPIs of his herd are, as follows: beef output per livestock unit of 497kg per livestock unit compared to a national average of 304 kg; beef output per hectare unit of 1,128kg per hectare compared to a national average of 400; stocking rate per hectare of 2.27 compared to the national average of 1.29
He has been grass measuring for the past few years, pasture base, he grew 13.7 tonnes DM/Ha in 2016. To finish a weanling bull it costs 33 cent per day on good quality grass; and €2.50e inside, he explains.
His farm comprises 40 to 50 paddocks over a mix of dry and heavy land with 31 useable hectares. Married to Gobnait, he's a father of four: Muireann, 24, Ciara, 22, Daniel 20 and Ciarán 18.