Peter Luttrell, Raheenaderragh House, Co Laois
The Luttrell family introduced the Shorthorn breed to their farm in 1921 and they have continued to develop the breed ever since. Now managing the farm, Peter Luttrell has developed the farm to include 100 breeding cows plus a tillage enterprise in the south Kildare region.
The herd is split with 50 cows calving in spring and 50 in the autumn period with a strong breeding focus for docility and milk within the cows. “The cows are very quiet, when crossed with continental breeds the docility traits follow suit making ideal replacements for any suckler enterprise. Remarks Peter. Most of the heifers sold go for breeding replacements and the bulls are finished for beef.
Peter uses Fixed Time synchronisation as a management tool on the farm; “it reduces the workload and makes my life easier,” comments Peter. Peter was included in a large Teagasc trial for synchronisation and out of 33 cows synchronised, 29 held to first service, giving confidence in the performance of the protocols used. The process allowed for the use of a variety of semen from six different breeds to develop maternal traits and the calving process was carried out over 17 days making it easy to be prepared.
Peter, who is also involved in the IFA livestock committee and the Shorthorn Marketing Company, which is growing in success, sees synchronisation using fixed time AI a major benefit in terms of breeding heifers and for the convenience for the part time suckler farmer. “The process is straightforward, and is ideally suited to a part time farmer who would like to use more AI on his herd,” comments Peter
In partnerships with his local vet practice in Athy and Progressive Genetics, Peter planned the AI program and the synchronisation around the availability of the technician and his optimal calving period.