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Beef Newsletter - July 2021

Beef Newsletter - July 2021

This month's Beef Newsletter includes information on: Sustainable parasite control; Five July jobs; Climate actions for July; Marketing early-maturing steers off grass; Research Update - Reducing methane emissions; and Health & Safety - Farm Safety Week.

View it here: Teagasc Beef Newsletter - July 2021 (PDF)

In this month's edition:

  • Sustainable parasite control
    Young calves are not resistant to stomach worms and this is why we need to treat them, especially in their first season at grass. However, spring-born suckler calves do not have a large intake of grass in the early and mid-season period of the year, which means they may not have a large burden of stomach worms until much later in the season.
  • Five July jobs
    • 1 - Stop the breeding season – suckler cows bred in July will not calve until the end of April or into May. Late-born calves in a spring-calving herd do not cover the costs of the cow they came out of.
    • 2 - Remove heavy covers of grass as baled silage to maintain grass quality ahead of stock.
    • 3 - Castrate bull calves. There is no improvement in lifetime daily gains from delaying this procedure.
    • 4 - Spread ground limestone on the grazing fields that need it. This gives the quickest return on investment of all the fertilisers that are brought onto a beef farm.
    • 5 - Scan suckler cows 30 days after the breeding season ends. Carrying empty cows is unprofitable and only increases the level of carbon emissions produced on your farm.
  • Climate actions for July
    • If you have oversown clover, graze low covers (1,000 kg DM/ha)
    • On grass clover swards, reduce N fertiliser applied (half rate)
    • Apply thick slurry or a protected urea compound with K included to replace the K removed by silage
    • Check your slurry storage availability and if it’s inadequate, make a plan
    • Ask your contractor to spread slurry using LESS equipment
    • Review your fertiliser plan – rectify low P and K index soils and apply lime
  • Marketing early-maturing steers off grass
    Due to the breeding policies in play on dairy farms nationally, a considerable number of Angus and Hereford calves arrive in the second half of the spring-calving season annually. Peter and Thomas O’Hanrahan, participants in the Teagasc Green Acres Calf-to-Beef Programme, had initially operated a system where Holstein Friesian steers were carried to beef at 30 months of age. 
  • RESEARCH UPDATE - Reducing methane emissions
    Sinead Waters and Stuart Kirwan of Teagasc AGRIC, Grange, Dunsany, Co. Meath report on Teagasc’s work on reducing methane emissions from ruminants. Funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food, and Marine (DAFM), METH-ABATE is an all-Ireland multidisciplinary project, led by Teagasc to develop novel farm-ready technologies to reduce methane emissions from ruminant fermentation and stored manure and slurry.
  • HEALTH & SAFETY - Farm Safety Week
    July is the most dangerous month of the year, with the highest levels of farm workplace deaths based on past records. Farm Safety Week starts on Monday July 19 when the official launch occurs.