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Anyone here organic sheep farming?

  • 20-08-2022 9:01pm
    Registered Users Posts: 2,142 ✭✭✭

    Hello all…

    Was chatting to my planner during the week about the new ACRES scheme. And he suggested I have a look at the organic scheme…

    I am fairly extensive, don’t use much fertiliser. Dosing would be an issue maybe. But it could work for me - am considering it…

    Cost of organic feed could be an issue too - anyone know how much ewe nuts are per ton?

    Anyone here organic? Be interested to hear anything ye have to say…




  • Registered Users Posts: 451 ✭✭gazahayes

    Thinking along the same lines here too, anyone I know with organic sheep have tillage also so have grain to feed. It's probably the main thing stopping me from going organic.

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,660 ✭✭✭Birdnuts

    I'm considering it atm - already got the herbal lays and some wholecrop feed on the go

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,088 ✭✭✭✭wrangler

    Very poor demand for lambs in our group now, and no demand for next six weeks I hear

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,142 ✭✭✭Dinzee Conlee

    Do you mean poor demand for organic lamb from the factory Wrangler?

    Having looked into it a bit more, I am probably edging more against going organic now…

    Main reasons would be land usage & feed costs/stocking rate

  • Registered Users Posts: 11,088 ✭✭✭✭wrangler

    Yea , our factory takes about 100 but only 30 this week and no more for six weeks

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,900 ✭✭✭farawaygrass

    From what I can make of it is that ya the payments are tempting, but it takes a lot of management to get it right, which in turn takes time. I reckon a lot of lads that join and not spend time managing it will end up with a poor enough place. It’s fine for the first couple of years but then the dust settles. As said previously I also think a lad would want a tillage operation running along side. If you got slatted sheds there is also the added cost of extending on for straw bedded areas like we would have to do. It’s definitely not money for jam and brings its own set of headaches too

  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]

    I'm not organic but I am doing the organic course at the moment, most of your questions have been answered in it.

    Rule of thumb organic feed is usually 2x times the cost of conventional.

    Synthetic fert is out. You can import slurry or FYM (with some conditions), or use your own (FYM to be composted). You can use lime. Soil fertility, and increasing it, is a big thing in organics.

    You can dose, but there are conditions. Generally 2x times the withdrawal period on the pack. You will need a health plan done in conjunction with your vet. FEC tests will be needed. You'll be encouraged to avoid parasite burdens through management, breaking parasite life cycles, rotations, suitable breeds, but if an animal needs treatment then it's welfare is paramount and derogations can be applied for retrospectively, say if you have a sick animal that needs treatment now, then treat her - which may remove organic status from that animal.

    Organic beef & lamb are over subscribed and leaking from organics into conventional, so if you're bargaining on making a fortune there I wouldn't unless you can set up your own market.

    And..... None of your current stock will ever be organic. Any lamb that is conceived on your farm after your conversion period begins will only be organic once the first two years is up.

    The course is really informative to making the decision. There's a lot to consider...

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,660 ✭✭✭Birdnuts

    What ever about going totally organic - I think the conventional producer can learn alot about the use of techniques like herbal leys to reduce worm issues etc. especcially given the mounting resistance problems with worm medication in this space