We will look at how the climate and the soils of Ireland suit different types of farming.
Types of Farms
Some farms produce milk. They are called dairy farms. Because Ireland has lots of rainfall and the temperature is above 6 degrees Celsius for most of the year, grass can grow for longer periods than in other countries.
Dairy farming and pastoral farming are common because of this. Pasture land is the name given to land which is grazed by cattle. Grassland is often called pasture. Pasture land makes up about half of all land farmed in Ireland. This shows us that keeping cattle for beef production or for dairy farming is very common in Ireland.
Farms that grow cereal crops are called tillage farms. This is also called arable farming. Seeds that are grown and harvested each year are called arable crops. Cereals like wheat, oats and barley
You will find out more about these later.
Sheep farms can be in upland or lowland regions. They are often in upland areas because mountain sheep are quite hardy and can tolerate cold and wet conditions. There are also lowland sheep farms. The sheep in lowland areas are a different breed and tend to be bigger that sheep which graze on mountain slopes.
There are other farms too like fish farms, poultry farms, mushroom farms and deer farms. There are also some unusual types of farm like an ostrich farm or a mink farm.
Most Irish farms are mixed farms. A mixed farm is where the farmer rears animals and grows crops.
Spring is a very exciting time on the farm. Lots of young animals are born. Lambs are born. Usually they are born indoors and then they go out to the field with their mothers. They learn to eat grass and grow strong and healthy. Young lambs are very playful. Have you ever seen young lambs play together in the fields?
The land is ploughed in spring. The farmer fertilises the land and plants the seeds.
On a dairy farm, calves are born and cows are milked.