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The Beef Edge Podcast

The Beef Edge is Teagasc’s fortnightly beef podcast for farmers. Presented by Catherine Egan the podcasts will cover the latest news, information and advice to improve your beef farm performance.

Watch video here on how to listen to The Beef Edge Podcast. 

There are three ways to listen to the podcast:

  1. If you’re an iPhone user you can listen to the show by subscribing on Apple Podcasts by clicking on this link and listening via your Podcasts app on your iPhone: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-beef-edge/id1489310336?uo=4
  2. If you have an Android phone, you can listen to the show by clicking on this link: https://open.spotify.com/show/5c2Ezg2k6unM8QQBMPFM7T
  3. Or you can listen by clicking on the player below:

Episode 9

As the country reels from the impact of Covid-19 coronavirus, Pearse Kelly, Head of Drystock Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc joins Catherine Egan to discuss the impact to Teagasc Advisory Services.

All Teagasc Basic Payment appointments will now be processed over the phone rather than an office consultation. Teagasc staff will contact farmer clients in the coming weeks. BPS application for clients, in so far as possible, will be done over the phone.  

Pearse highlights that the transfer of information and knowledge to farmers and students will be through regular digital communication methods. While on farm Teagasc farmer discussion group meetings are being replaced with one hour phone meetings between farmers and their advisor. 

All Teagasc events have been postponed until further notice. This includes farm walks, conferences, and seminars. Pearse advises that every farmer should have a plan in case that they become ill, as to who will fill their boots. As children are off from school at the moment Pearse highlights some simple suggestions that could help farmers in relation to health and safety on the farm

Episode 8

Aidan Murray, Teagasc Beef Specialist joins Catherine Egan on the latest episode of The Beef Edge to discuss the key targets heifers need to be achieving to calve at 24 months.

Only 22% of beef heifers calve at 22-26 months. However, this figure has hovered between 27-17% over the past decade.

For more information go to: Calving beef heifers at 24 months of age (PDF)

Episode 7

Trevor Boland, a part time suckler farmer from Dromard in Co Sligo, joins Catherine Egan on this episode of the Beef Edge to give an update on his spring grassland management.   Trevor was awarded the Grass 10 Grassland Farmer of the year Beef category award winner in 2019.

Spring 2020 has been a difficult spring to get stock out grazing with heavy rainfall and poor grazing conditions.

Trevor discusses his success of managing grass through improved soil fertility, an excellent paddock system and measuring grass on a weekly basis.

Episode 6

Alan Dillon, Beef Specialist & Green Acres Programme Manager, joins Catherine Egan, to give an update on the Green Acres programme and to discuss the key targets of the calf rearing phase.

The second phase of the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme was launched in April 2019. This programme is demonstrating profitable dairy calf to beef systems on a whole farm basis through a network of demonstration farms. The primary aim of the programme is to achieve a net margin of €500/ha (excluding premia).

The main areas discussed include:

  • Calf Rearing
  • Animal Health
  • Grassland Management
  • Soil Fertility
  • Financial Management
  • Farm Planning

For further information log on to the Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme visit: Green Acres Calf to Beef

Episode 5

The Beef Data and Genomics Program (BDGP) and the Beef Environmental and Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) were introduced with the objective of using genetics/genomics to address the decline in key maternal traits within the national suckler herd.  Andrew Cromie, Irish Cattle Breeding Federation Technical Director joins Catherine Egan to discuss how BDGP and BEEP improve the profitability and carbon efficiency of our livestock sector.

Andrew discusses results and analysis of the first females that calved into BDGP herds showed that on average, 5 star females calved 59 days earlier than 1 star females and had a 13.6 days shorter average calving interval.

In terms of progeny carcass performance, age at slaughter and profitability results demonstrate the effectiveness of the initial €uro-Star genomic predictions as a means to accurately identify more profitable and sustainable suckler herd replacements.

Episode 4

Animal welfare is a key consideration for every Irish beef farmer and on this episode, Dr. Bernadette Early, researcher in Teagasc Grange, joins Catherine Egan to highlight the welfare advantages experienced by animals in our systems and results from recent research studies relating to animal housing, castration, and transport.  

Bernadette also outlines the key legal and welfare requirements relating to calf disbudding and to castration. Welfare and performance of finishing beef heifers in relation to space allowance showed that increasing space allowance above 3.0m2 had no effect on animal intake or performance.

Bernadette has been involved in research relating to transporting cattle nationally and internationally with data from these studies used to inform policy makers and national and EU level.

Episode 3

Derrypatrick herd manager, Michael McManus, joins Catherine Egan to give an update on the performance of the Teagasc research farm. 

The research demonstration farm was established to explore new ideas and research different system comparisons using a herd of 105 suckler cows in a finishing system on 65 ha at Teagasc, Grange.

It is a spring-calving, suckler calf-to-beef system with a rotational paddock grazing system is in operation on the farm. Michael highlights the benefits of grass in the system and management of stock over the winter period. He also outlines the preparation being done in advance of the calving season.

Episode 2

It has been a tough year for Irish beef farmers and with the need to look to different international markets, Bord Bia Meat & Livestock Senior Manager Joe Burke joins Catherine Egan to discuss the potential new markets for Irish Beef.

Joe highlights the fact that beef prices have fallen in Ireland in 2019, for example, the R3 steer price has fallen by 6.5% while similar price decreases have occurred in the UK (7%) and continental Europe (5%). Over the last number of years Irish cattle prices have generally moved closer to and exceeded EU average male cattle prices.

With the significant increase in exports to international markets and live exports - live exports of cattle from Ireland increased by more than 20% in comparison with 2018, and are likely to reach 300,000 head by the year-end - Joe outlines the key market trends and overall impact for the industry in 2020 as well as the possibility of new markets for Irish Beef going forwards.

Episode 1

On the first episode of the Beef Edge, Teagasc's new podcast for beef farmers, specialist Alan Dillon joins Catherine Egan to discuss his top tips for winter weanlings management. 

Alan emphasises the importance of housing, cash flow and silage quality in terms of keeping weanlings over winter. He also highlights how farmers can ensure weanlings are achieving 0.6kg/head/day over the winter period.

When deciding between different concentrate options Alan explains that straights are currently good value if facilities are available on farm. Additionally, checking the current constituents in a ration mix needs to be examined and fed according to the silage test results

He also estimates the cost of keeping weanlings over the winter period and proposed costs required next spring. In addition, options for storing cattle over the winter as part of a current contingency plan are discussed.