Review of Ballyhaise heifer rearing unit at grass
For the last two years Ballyhaise Research Farm have been running a dedicated replacement heifer rearing unit which consists of a 10ha grazing block. This year there is 31 calves and 21 maiden heifers on this block. Martina Gormley, Teagasc Dairy Specialist tells us more here.
A unique grazing system that works
If you don’t measure grass you can’t manage it. On this episode of the Beef Edge podcast, suckler farmer Thomas O’Connor from Co. Kildare joins Catherine Egan to give an insight into his farming system.
Beef Newsletter - July 2020
Get the latest information & advice from the Teagasc Beef team. In this month's edition: BEAM 5% reduction requirements begin; Teagasc Virtual Beef Week; Research update - Heat synchronisation and timed AI; and Health & Safety - Work at heights is dangerous.
Tips & Advice for Staying Safe on Farm
Accidents on farms are a continuing cause of concern and on this week’s episode of the Beef Edge podcast, Teagasc Health & Safety specialist John McNamara, joins Catherine Egan with some tips for farmers in advance of Farm Safety Week.
Understanding the genetic basis of fertility and semen quality in bulls
In seasonal production systems, demand for semen from young genetically elite bulls often exceeds supply. As part of a large Science Foundation Ireland funded project researchers are examining the role of both early life nutrition and genetics in regulating sexual development and subsequent semen quality and fertility in young bulls.
Nutritional composition and human health implications of grass-fed beef
Ireland’s climate has encouraged the development of “grass-fed” as a point of difference for Irish beef in high-value markets in Europe and beyond. A study at Teagasc Grange asked: what is the comparative nutritional composition of Irish beef which is long term grass-fed, grass/silage plus concentrate-fed or concentrate-fed, and what are the implications of the different sources of beef for the health of the beef consumer? Project lead Aidan Moloney tells us more.
Understanding how targeted early life nutrition can advance the availability of high quality semen from genetically elite young bulls
The bull has a huge influence on the rate of genetic progress in cattle, particularly when used through artificial insemination. Novel research currently being conducted at Teagasc Grange is focused on understanding the underlying physiological and molecular mechanisms regulating the role of nutrition in stimulating sexual development.
The impact of housing characteristics (space allowance, floor type) on welfare and performance of beef cattle
The critical issues pertaining to welfare of housed beef cattle identified by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and the European Commission include, space allowance and flooring. Find out more about research being carried out in order to examine the impact of floor type on the welfare and performance of beef cattle, and to quantify the financial implications of alternative options.
Grass-forage and concentrate beef: production and quality attributes
Grass-based production systems offer an economic advantage for Irish beef farms. There is renewed interest in 100 % grass-fed beef, which is perceived as being more ‘sustainable’ by consumers. However, there is little research information on rearing and finishing progeny from the suckler beef herd on grass-forage diets solely.
BovINE (Beef Innovation Network Europe) has been established across 10 EU member states to focus solely on the needs of the 255,000 farmers that constitute the EU bovine meat sector. Coordinated by Teagasc (IE), BovINE is built around a multi-actor approach, requiring focused cooperation between researchers, advisors, farmers and other relevant actors/players in the beef industry to facilitate knowledge exchange and acceptance of co-created solutions.
Developing more sustainable beef finishing strategies through improved nutrition and growth of animals
Economic sustainability of beef farming needs to be improved, while simultaneously its environmental footprint needs to be reduced. The efficiency of converting feed into meat protein in a cost-effective sustainable manner requires new understanding of the effects of forage nutritive value and supplementation of concentrates.
Genomic selection for compensatory growth in beef cattle
In beef production systems, feed accounts for up to 80% of the total direct costs incurred by farmers. There is an opportunity to genomically select cattle with an enhanced compensatory growth potential. Studies from Teagasc have shown that a target average daily gain of 0.5 to 0.6 kg for steers and heifers during the dietary restriction period is sufficient to give an optimal compensatory growth response.
Finishing cattle at pasture: concentrate supplementation?
In autumn the diet of grazing cattle is generally unbalanced in terms of energy and protein as there is usually excess degradable protein in autumn grass. Research at Grange has shown dietary energy rather than protein is the limiting factor and where supplementation occurs, concentrate energy sources are required. Researchers Edward O’Riordan and Mark McGee have some information
How to grow and utilise more grass on my farm?
The foundation underpinning good grass production and utilisation is having adequate soil fertility, unimpeded drainage, targeted application of fertiliser and good grazing infrastructure, coupled with appropriate grazing management practices. Specialist Catherine Egan and researcher Mark McGee have some advice.
Feeding weanlings during the winter
Grange research has shown that weanling steers and heifers generally do not require protein supplementation when fed barley-based concentrates and high DMD grass silage. Researcher Mark McGee and Specialist Catherine Egan give some information and advice.
Winter Finishing: Grass-based systems
Even high-quality grass silage is incapable of sustaining adequate growth rates to exploit the growth potential of most cattle so concentrate supplementation is required. Mark McGee and Catherine Egan, Teagasc, AGRIC give advice on efficient feed utilisation when finishing cattle
Want 50kg more winter weight gain for no extra cost? Cut silage in May instead of June
Research conducted at Teagasc Grange has shown that cattle fed high quality 75% dry matter digestibility (DMD) silage gained almost 50kg additional live-weight over a 5 month winter compared to similar cattle fed 65% DMD silage. Joe Patton explains the findings of this research
Parasite control in growing cattle at pasture
Internal parasites are one of the main threats that need to be considered for animals at grass. Researcher Orla Keane has some information and advice on Lungworm and Gut worm
Resilient grass-based systems for beef cattle
In beef production systems, feed provision is the single largest direct cost incurred, accounting for approximately 75% of total costs of production. Beef specialist Catherine Egan and researcher Mark McGee have advice and information
Agricultural Emissions - greenhouse gases and ammonia
Greenhouse gases (GHG’S) and air pollutants are the two main categories of Agricultural emissions. Greenhouse gases have a negative impact on climate change. Air pollutants other type of gaseous emissions from agriculture. They negatively impact on human and animal health.
ICBF: Breeding for more - Sustainable Beef Production
ICBF uses performance, ancestry and genomic data from over 15 million beef cattle (the largest beef cattle database in the world). The goal is to identify the superior animals within the breeding program for key traits such as maternal milk, female fertility, cost of calving, cost of feed and carcass growth rate.
Protected Urea - Cost Efficient N
Protected urea (ProUrea) is urea which is treated with a urease inhibitor. The urease inhibitor can be either a) coated onto the outside of the fertiliser granule or b) incorporated into the urea granule melt during manufacture.
Methane Production: How can we reduce it?
Methane (CH4) is the second most important greenhouse gas (GHG) in terms of global warming. It is 28 times more potent to the environment than carbon dioxide (CO2). Agriculture accounts for 34% of Irish GHGs emissions, with CH4 responsible for nearly 60% of agri emissions.
Farming Influence on Water Quality- Findings of the Agricultural Catchments Programme (ACP)
A better environment and supporting the production of high-quality food are the twin aims of the ACP. Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, staff have been working with 300 farmers across six catchments in Ireland for over ten years to achieve these goals while also evaluating the Nitrates Directive regulations.
White Clover will increase grass production and quality. It improves animal performance - 13% increase in animal carcass weight & 25% increase in lamb live weight gain. It saves €50/acre on Nitrogen fertiliser (save 110 units N/acre, CAN @ €250/t ) and gives a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
Agricultural Sustainability Support and Advisory Programme (ASSAP)
The ASSAP programme is a new government / industry collaborative initiative running from 2018 - 2021. The programme offers a free support and advisory service (20 Teagasc and 10 Dairy Co-op advisors) and participation is voluntary. Its aim is to improve water quality through working with farmers
Low Emission Slurry Spreading (LESS)
Cattle slurry is a valuable source of N, P & K produced on farm. The nitrogen (N) in cattle slurry is in the ammonia form similar to N in urea fertilisers and as such can be easily lost to the atmosphere. Slurry application techniques such as trailing hose or trailing shoe reduce the surface area of the slurry compared to the splash plate thus reducing the loss of N as ammonia to the air.
Protecting soil carbon stocks and enhancing Carbon Sequestration
Soil organic matter is the biggest store of carbon on land. It is greater than the carbon in the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2) gas which is a greenhouse gas. Researchers David Wall & Gary Lanigan have information on why maintaining soil organic matter levels is important?
Conservation of Farmland Habitats
Conservation and protection of farmland wildlife and habitats is an important dimension of environmental sustainability. Aim to retain existing habitats, enhance degraded habitats then consider habitat creation.
Biodiversity Management Practices on Linear Habitats
Engaging in good biodiversity management practices on linear habitats has many positive benefits for farmers, farming and the envirnment. Here we have advice for farmers interested in improving biodiversity management practices and there is also an assessment sheet to assess current practices
Understanding the Dairy Beef Index (DBI)
The Dairy Beef Index (DBI) is a tool to produce quality beef cattle from the dairy herd that have both desirable calving attributes for the dairy herd (i.e., easy calving and short gestation) and valuable carcass merit attributes for the finisher.
Management and prevention of common infectious & parasitic diseases affecting dairy beef calves
Dairy beef calves can be susceptible to a number of infectious & parasitic diseases. Niamh Field has advice and information on the prevention and management of coccidiosis, gutworm, lungworm and viral pneumonia
Dairy-beef performance under three stocking rate intensities
The current research programme in Johnstown Castle is evaluating the effects of herbage allowance (by using three stocking rates) on the performance of dairy × beef crossbreed cattle. Ruth Dunne, Wayne Hayes, Richard Lynch and Padraig French have further information on the research
Growing your potential; Grass-to-Beef
Grazed grass is the cheapest source of energy for ruminants and is capable of supporting high levels of animal performance. Beef systems implementing high levels of grassland management to support improved animal performance and output/ha have a lower carbon footprint per kg of beef produced. Nicky Byrne, Donall Fahy and Michael O’Donovan have some advice
Teagasc Grange dairy calf-to-beef system study
The current research focus of the dairy beef unit at Teagasc Grange is to compare the performance of three DAIRY-BEEF genetic groups. The systems used have achieved exceptional performance.Nicky Byrne and Donall Fahy give an update on the research
Teagasc Green Acres Dairy Calf to Beef Programme
The second phase of Teagasc Green Acres Calf-to-Beef Programme started in 2019. It includes 12 commercially-operated calf to beef demonstration farms located nationwide. This programme is supported by two Teagasc specialised advisors. Programme manager Alan Dillon has more information
Livestock-handling on Irish beef farms: Implications for the human-animal-relationship
Livestock production systems consistently rank as one of the most hazardous with regard to farmer safety. Between 2009 and 2018, 16% of total fatalities in the Irish agricultural and forestry industry occurred in these production systems. A study of beef farmers on livestock handling has been conducted by Teagasc & UCD
Novel diagnostics for bovine respiratory disease (BRD)
At Teagasc, Grange, new technologies are being used for the identification of viral and bacterial infectious agents causing bovine respiratory disease (BRD), commonly known as pneumonia. Researchers Dayle Johnston, Matthew McCabe, Gaelle Esnault, Inmaculada Cuevas-Gómez, Paul Cormican, Sinead Waters and Bernadette Earley give some information
Clinical diagnosis of bovine respiratory disease (BRD)
Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is is one of the most significant causes of morbidity and mortality in cattle. An accurate and early diagnosis of clinical (BRD) and sub-clinical bovine respiratory disease (sBRD) is necessary to get a better classification of the disease and guide effective treatment. Read more about theuse of thoracic ultrasonography (TUS) at AGRIC, Teagasc, Grange
Breeding for improved resistance to bovine respiratory disease (BRD)
Bovine respiratory disease (BRD) is a multifactorial disease affecting cattle of all ages. Internationally and in Ireland, it represents the most significant cause of bovine morbidity and mortality. Clinical symptoms include coughing, breathing difficulty, eye and nasal discharge, a high temperature and reduced animal performance.
Castration- Best Practice
The castration of male cattle intended for beef production is a common practice in many countries. Castration of cattle is usually performed in order to prevent sexual behaviour, reduce aggression, and increase handling safety. Find out more on the best castration practices here
Calving Beef heifers at 2 Years Old
Find out the reasons for calving your beef heifers at 2 years old; why farmers are reluctant to try it and get some key statistics to help make the decision.
How to achieve high performance in a dairy calf-to-beef system
Due to the expansion of the Irish dairy herd over recent years more dairy-origin calves are available for beef production, but considerable scope exists for integration of beef and dairy farmers’ needs. Nicky Byrne & Alan Dillon have advice on achieving high performance.
Lessons from the Derrypatrick herd – Q & A
The Derrypatrick herd consists of 105 cows it uses 100% AI and selects proven sires based on the €uro-Star sub-index. Beef specialist, Aidan Murray along with researchers Paul Crosson, Bernadette Earley and Orla Keane give us some information on the lessons learned from the herd to date.
Virtual Beef Week - What's on - Friday
On the final day of our Virtual Beef Week Pearse Kelly and Paul Crosson will discuss the economics of various beef systems on the 12 midday Beef Talk. They are joined by Kevin Hanrahan who will look at Future Beef Policy. Then addressing 'The Grand Challenges' will be the theme for Live@Grange - 7pm. Frank O'Mara will introduce the session. Thia Hennessy will moderate - speakers are Mairead McGuinness, Gerry Boyle, Tim Cullinan and Barry Cowen TD
Virtual Beef Week - What's on - Thursday
Grass Management for Sustainable Beef Production is the theme for the Thursday of Virtual Beef Week. On Beef Talk at 12 noon Researcher Mark McGee, farmer John Watchorn and specialist Catherine Egan will discuss 'Building resilience within your grass based system'. Live@Grange at 7pm farmer Sean Roddy, will discuss 'How my farm grows more grass'? He will be joined by his Teagasc advisor Christy Watson and researcher Edward O’Riordan. Aidan Murray will facilitate.
Virtual Beef Week - What's on, on Wednesday
The focus of Virtual Beef Week on Wednesday, July 8th is 'Sustainable Beef Production'. At 12 noon on Beef Talk, Paul Crosson, John Finn and Sinead Waters, Teagasc will look at GHG and methane emissions and biodiversity on the farm. In the evening discussion - Live@Grange Mark Plunkett, Mike Egan & Eddie Burgess, Teagasc, and Andrew Cromie, ICBF will explore various options to make farms more sustainable.
Lungworm in Cattle
Hoose or lungworm infection, can be widespread and infection this year may be more severe due to the heavy rain that followed the long dry spell. Drystock Specialist Martina Harrington has advice on the identification, management and treatment of the disease
How my farm grows more grass?
Sean Roddy, suckler farm manager of the Lyons Demesne farm in Co. Kildare, joins Catherine Egan on this week’s episode of The Beef Edge to discuss grassland management on his farm. Sean will be featuring as part of the Teagasc Virtual Beef Week on Thursday, 9th July at 7pm where he will also be joined on the panel by his Teagasc advisor Christy Watson and Edward O’Riordan, Teagasc Grange.
Virtual Beef Week - What's on for Tuesday
On Tuesday of next week the Virtual Beef Week will focus on Dairy Calf to Beef Production. Tuesday morning’s Teagasc Beef Talk webinar will focus on the Grange dairy calf-to-beef system study. The live panel discussion from Teagasc Grange at 7pm will have a focus on calf selection
Virtual Beef Week
Virtual Beef Week replaces the planned major Teagasc Beef 2020 Open Day, which was due to take place at the Teagasc Animal and Grassland Research and Innovation centre, Grange, County Meath. Due to COVID-19 farmers will now have the opportunity to access the latest research and knowledge through their mobile phone, laptop or tablet.
Gurteen College Beef Farm Update
Currently the suckler beef unit at Gurteen College has 79 sucker cows and split calving with 43 spring calving cows and 36 autumn calving cows. The unit aims to educate students on the running of a sustainable drystock business. Teagasc Drystock Specialist Catherine Egan gives an update on the enterprise.
Overcoming the challenges to producing sustainable Irish beef
Producing Irish beef sustainably is important and poses many challenges as reducing Greenhouse Gases (GHG) is something farmers have heard about a lot lately. On this episode of the Beef Edge, Catherine Egan is joined by Prof Sinead Waters, Researcher in Teagasc Grange and Dr Dominika Krol, Researcher in Teagasc Johnstown Castle to find out more.
The current research findings in dairy calf to beef systems at Teagasc Johnstown Castle
Since 2013 there has been research in dairy calf to beef systems in Teagasc Johnstown Castle and on this episode of the Beef Edge Podcast, Ruth Dunne, research technologist in Teagasc Johnstown Castle, joins Catherine Egan to discuss the current research findings.
Finishing cattle at grass
During the next few months a considerable number of beef cattle will be slaughtered. If you are targeting to slaughter off grass Alan Dillon, Cattle Specialist has some useful advice.
Teagasc announce details of ‘Virtual Beef Week’
Teagasc are holding a ‘Virtual Beef Week’ from Monday 6th to Friday 10th July, to demonstrate best practice and communicate the latest research results relevant to beef farmers.
Summer Season – Keeping up with the Grass Plant!
Maintaining adequate high quality grass mid-season is the most cost effective way of achieving good animal performance - Anne O’Malley, Drystock Advisor in Ballina has some advice.
Summer Mastitis – Prevention and Control
If you are planning to wean autumn calving suckler cows to reduce grass demand, be aware of the risk of summer mastitis due to current weather conditions. Beef specialist Aidan Murray has advice
What are the main parasites to be aware of at the moment?
A large number of different gut worm species can infect cattle but most follow a similar life cycle with both free-living and parasitic phases. On this week's episode of the Beef Edge Podcast Dr.Orla Keane, Researcher at Teagasc Grange joins Catherine Egan to discuss anthelmintic usage on beef farms.
Beef Newsletter - June 2020
Get the latest information and advice from the Teagasc Beef Team. In this month's edition: Grass supply must be monitored; Second-cut silage; BDGP key dates in 2020; Green Acres update; Research Update - Dangerous gasses from silage fermentation; Health & Safety - Farm deaths rise.
How to deal with the current drought conditions on farms
Soil moisture deficits (SMD) are really impacting on grass growth in many areas of the country, however it is variable across the country and even within farms. John Maher, Grass10 Campaign Manager joins Catherine Egan on this week's episode of the Beef Edge to discuss actions farmers need to take with current drought conditions on farms.
Information for drystock farmers dealing with current very dry weather
PastureBase Ireland shows that everywhere is growing some grass. It is vital to act now to ensure that grass supply is managed as early as possible.
Newford Farm Round Bale Silage Update
Iarlaith Collins, farm manager & Michael Fagan, technician of the Newford Suckler Demonstration Farm in Athenry give a brief update on one of the out farms regarding first cut round bale silage.
An update from Kildalton College on the breeding season to date
John O’Connor, Kildalton College Beef farm manager, joins Catherine Egan on this week’s Beef Edge to give an update on the breeding season to date.
Second cut silage – What are the options for beef farmers?
Rain did fall in many parts of the country last week yet soil moisture deficits have not improved for most parts of the country
Do we need to call on the lessons learned in the summer of 2018?
There is rain expected in the west and northwest over the next few days. This will help alleviate the current Soil Moisture Deficit somewhat. The east coast is expected to see very little rain.
Why are sugar and nitrate levels in your silage important?
To ensure good silage fermentation the target sugar content is 3% or higher and this is measured in Teagasc offices using a refractometer. Martina Harrington, Teagasc Beef Specialist tells us more.
Pat Collins, Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme participant gives an update on his progress
The second phase of the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme was launched in April 2019. Pat Collins programme participant joins Catherine Egan on the latest episode of the Beef Edge Podcast to give an update on his progress.
Newford Farm Beef Yearlings & Suckler Calves Update
Michael Fagan, technician to the Newford Farm gives an update on the Newford suckler calves and the Newford yearling bullocks and heifers
Suckler Breeding Targets Webinar
The first webinar in the 'Let's Talk Cattle & Sheep' series. Martina Harrington, Teagasc Cattle Specialist gave a presentation on 'Suckler Breeding Targets'
Dairy Beef Index (DBI)
The Dairy Beef Index (DBI) is a breeding tool developed by Teagasc and ICBF which was launched in 2019. Brendan Garry and John Conroy, Teagasc Mayo give an overview of the DBI and outline the benefits to dairy farmers and beef farmers.
The key information farmers need to be aware of for the final year of BDGP
As we approach the final year of the Beef Data Genomics Programme 1 with over 22,500 participants, Martina Harrington, Teagasc Beef Specialist, joins Catherine Egan on this weeks's episode of the Beef Edge Podcast to discuss the key dates farmers need to be aware of this year.
Newford Breeding 2020
Iarlaith Collins farm manager on Newford Suckler demonstration farm in Athenry gives a brief update the breeding season so far on this earlier maturing herd
Monitoring the Young Bull
Doreen Corridan, Munster Bovine highlights the importance of monitoring the young bull throughout the breeding season. It is very easy to miss cows in heat so it is important to use a monitoring device such as a chin ball, scratch pads or scanning.
Keeping Dairy Beef Calves Thriving at Grass
It is essential that the calves are well prepared for being let out to grass. They should be put out to grass when they are strong enough and the weather is mild.
Beef Newsletter - May 2020
Get the latest information and advice from the Teagasc Beef team. In this month's edition, topics include: BEEP-S; Easing dairy-beef calves to grass; Making quality silage and Improve your six-week calving rate
The importance of silage quality on beef farms and the steps farmers can take to improve it
As the silage season fast approaches, Joe Patton joins Catherine Egan on the latest episode of The Beef Edge Podcast to discuss the importance of silage quality on beef farms.
Training the Young Bull
BEEF: Doreen Corridan, Munster Bovine gives an overview of the steps you should take when training a new bull for mating and highlights the importance of having the bull fertility tested.
An update on the Teagasc Grange dairy calf-to-beef system trial
Nicky Byrne, Researcher in Teagasc Grange joins Catherine Egan on this week’s The Beef Edge to give an update on the latest results from the dairy calf-to-beef system trial.
Start Your Second Grazing Rotation
BEEF: Growth is now outstripping demand for most farmers. Look at the regrowth on the first couple of paddocks grazed, are they ready to be grazed again?
Derrypatrick Herd Update at Teagasc Grange
BEEF: Michael McManus, Research Technician on the Derrypatrick herd, at Teagasc Grange gives an update on the herd, grass management and plans for the next few weeks.
Dairy calf-to-beef system evaluation - Teagasc Grange
BEEF: The Teagasc Grange dairy calf-to-beef system evaluation compares the physical and financial performance of three DAIRY-BEEF genetic groups. View video for the latest update
Countdown to breeding season 2020
BEEF: It is important to focus on the upcoming breeding season. Set realistic breeding targets for your farm. Develop a plan to help manage your herd throughout the breeding season.
Planning 1st cut silage on beef farms
BEEF: Having silage of a high quality will ensure good daily weight gain on weanlings and also cut down on meal input on finishing cattle. The decisions made in the next number of weeks on farm will determine the cost of production for up to 6 months next winter.
Beef Environment Efficiency Programme-Sucklers (BEEP-S)
The Beef Environmental Efficiency Programme - Suckler is to be of one year’s duration. The Programme will be administered by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. It will operate throughout the State in respect of eligible beef suckler herds. Participation in the Programme is voluntary.
Update your spring rotation planner and GET FERTILISER OUT.
BEEF The wet weather of early spring 2020 has disrupted the spring rotation planner. That now needs to be adusted to reflect the circumstances. The application of fertiliser will be critical, see the options.