Sheep farm open day, organised by Teagasc, took place on the 30 May 2024 on Shane Moore’s farm near Athleague, Co. Roscommon. Approximately 90 people, mostly farmers, attended this event.

The topics presented during open day included:

  • farm details and farm plan
  • ewe and lambs performance
  • grassland management
  • flock health
  • reduction of GHG emissions on the farm (LIFE Green Sheep Project)
  • precision livestock farming technologies to improve welfare (Techcare Project)

Shane Moore has 30 ha farm, consisting of beef cattle and sheep enterprises and is a member of the Teagasc BETTER Sheep Programme and LIFE Green Sheep Project. The soil on the farm is mainly good free draining soil and also includes an area of marginal land (13 ha) which is known as the Turlough (Irish name that means “dry lake”).  Turloughs are unique habitats mainly found in limestone areas in Ireland. Turloughs flood in winter and dry out during summer. Thus Turloughs can be grazed and when ground conditions allow. In 2023, Shane’s farm grew an average of 13 tonnes of grass dry matter per ha.

There were 187 mature ewes joined with rams in October 2023, and 50 replacement ewe lambs were retained. There are 26 beef cattle on the farm. He is currently increasing ewe numbers and is targeting a stocking rate of 10-12 ewes per ha. The flock weaned 2.0 lambs per ewe joined from the mature ewes in 2024 and the breeding policy for the farm is aimed at developing a prolific flock.

The carbon footprint of 1 kg of sheep meat produced on Shane’s farm is 25.13 kg CO2 equivalent, and the emission per ha is 3978 kg CO2 equivalent. These figures are lower than the national averages of 32.3 kg CO2 equivalent per kg of sheep meat and 5303 kg CO2 equivalent per ha.

Shane is committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from his farm enterprise and has already started to implement GHG mitigation practices on his farm. These include improving soil fertility, replacing straight urea fertilisers with protected urea, introducing clover to the grazing swards, spreading slurry using less emission techniques, improving grazing management, and improving overall flock health.

Life Green Sheep Irish Team : Tim Keady, Cathal Buckley and Lyubov Bragina from Teagasc and the participants