Technology Demonstration Farms (TDFs) provide a network of local farms that allow other farmers to discover new technologies and innovations that they could adopt within their own business. William Egerton, Rosslea, Co. Fermanagh, was recently appointed TDF for sheep grasslands, writes Ruth Moore, Cattle and Sheep Adviser, CAFRE.
William Egerton farms with his father, John Egerton and his brothers on 180 acres just outside Rosslea. The family farm includes 90 suckler cows, 240 ewes, a subcontracted heifer farm and a smooth calf business. William returned to the family farm a few years ago, after working on a large sheep farm in Scotland. Its aim is to develop and manage the sheep business at home with pasture management and efficient use of grass an essential part of the business.
On the farm’s 180 acres of grassland, William manages his flock of New Zealand Suffolk, Lleyn, Belclare and Mule ewes on 40 acres which have been divided into paddocks. William uses regular soil testing, the CAFRE nutrient calculator, grass measurement, using a plate meter and Agrinet software to monitor the productivity of his pasture platform. This allows him to graze his flock of sheep with the aim of achieving a high level of productivity from grass. The performance of his flock is measured regularly using EID weighing, Sheepware flock registration and faecal egg counting.
William says; “I look forward to hosting farm tours as part of the Technology Demonstration Farm Program. I am a young farmer who is committed to managing my ewes and lambs to get the most out of the grass we can grow here in County Fermanagh. Hosting groups of farmers will allow me to discuss my business with others, share my experiences and I am sure we will learn from each other.
Details of all TDFs and how to book a visit are available on the CAFRE website: www.cafre.ac.uk Technology Demonstration Farms (TDF) | Support for agricultural enterprises – CAFRE
At the moment CAFRE is only accepting group bookings by emailing [email protected]
The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) and the European Union are funding the Business Development Groups program and the establishment of Technology Demonstration Farms across Northern Ireland as part of the Innovation Technology Assessment Demonstration (ITED) program under the Rural Development Programme. .
Further details can be found on the CAFRE website, Discover CAFRE Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram accounts.