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Teagasc Green Acres – Demonstrating Best Practice

Food Harvest 2020 outlines a target of increasing the value of beef output by 20%. The expansion of the national dairy herd due to the abolition of milk quotas in 2015 and the application of sexed semen technology on a proportion of dairy farms will drive an increase in production of dairy bred calves. The result is an increasing supply of dairy bred calves that will be finished as beef. Significant component research information has been generated on dairy beef finishing at Teagasc Grange and Johnstown Castle. However, there is limited data on whole farm dairy calf to beef systems, demonstrating best practice at farm level. This programme is demonstrating profitable dairy calf to beef systems on a whole farm basis through a network of ten demonstration farms. The primary aim of the project is to demonstrate that, where a high level of technical efficiency is achieved on beef farms, it is possible to attain a net margin per hectare (excluding premia) in excess of €500 per hectare.

Gordon Peppard, is the dedicated programme adviser delivering the new Dairy Calf to Beef Programme supported by Liffey Mills, Drummonds Ltd., Volac Ireland, MSD Animal Health, Grassland Agro on a full time basis for three years.

The Objectives of the Programme are:

  • To advise and demonstrate best practice at farm level on the rearing, growing and finishing of purchased dairy bred calves through to beef (steers/heifers/bulls) on a whole farm basis on 10 demonstration farms and to demonstrate the associated economic benefits.
  • To provide technical support and targeted training to the technical staff of the contributing stakeholders to the programme.
  • To disseminate physical and financial progress / results from the programme through a wide range of communication strategies including monthly coverage in the Farming Independent, farm walks and other channels of communication.

Launch-Booklet-final (PDF, 6.1MB)