Farming Life - 2010
Richard Halleron

Fermanagh Grassland Club visits Focus Farms in Co Antrim

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Members of the Fermanagh Grassland Club recently visited the Co Antrim  Focus Farms of Messrs David and Alan Wallace and Mr Seamus Kane. The Focus Farm Programme is funded through The European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) and DARD. It aims to contribute to the creation of a more competitive agriculture industry through the provision of farmer-led training to farmers.

Focus Farms participating in the Scheme are commercial farms that demonstrate good farming practices. The farms represent a range of farm businesses and locations and promote good practice by example. They are available for visits by groups of farmers, where they can learn, share experiences and solve common problems through discussion, farm walks and demonstrations

Courtesy of their visit to Co Antrim the members of the Fermanagh Grassland Group had the Opportunity to view excellent grassland management being practiced on the progressive dairy farm of David and Alan Wallace. The management of a high yielding herd was explained in detail. An informative discussion took place between the host farmers and visitors throughout the visit, A detailed handout, profiling key features of the Wallace farm and benchmarking performance was also made available.

Seamus Kane explained the operation of the suckler, beef and sheep enterprises on his farm. Benchmarking results for the farm business highlighted. Again opportunities for ongoing discussion with the visiting members of the Fermanagh Grassland Club were provided.

Seamus also discussed the pros and cons of electronic identification for beef and sheep enterprises. He also outlined the continued development of the farm business through new poultry enterprise.

Focus Farm visits are open to farmers and farm families who have a Business Identification Number (Business ID). Visits are arranged in response to demand. If you are interested in visiting a farm, you will be required to indicate what type of farm you want to visit and the area in which you live. You will then be contacted with a date and a time when the minimum number required for a group visit has been reached