Beef Newsletter - September 2021
This month's Beef Newsletter includes information on: Planning in preparation for weaning; building grass covers; focusing on an off-grass finish; Research Update - Pasture and performance; and Health & Safety - Food for thought.
View it here: Beef Newsletter - September 2021 (PDF)
In this month's edition:
- Planning in preparation for weaning
With spring-calving herds weaning calves in the coming weeks, now is the time to plan your weaning strategy and vaccination programme.
Weaning can be a stressful time on farms for both the cow and the calf. There are many different weaning strategies. The key points to keep in mind at weaning are to reduce animal stress and minimise the impact on animal performance.
- Build grass covers
September is the last month you have to build grass covers and extend your grazing rotation length in order to set your farm up for the last grazing rotation in October and November. If you don’t have a reasonable bank of grass saved up by the end of the month, your last rotation could end up being very short and you will have to house all your stock much sooner than you would like to. September 14 is the last day you can spread nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) fertilisers.
- Focusing on an off-grass finish
A current task on the Teagasc Green Acres farms is to go through the spring 2020-born stock and select out for feeding those that are suitable for an off-grass finish this autumn. This task needs to be completed promptly once September comes, so the risk of animals having to be housed late in the finishing stages due to bad weather is reduced.
- Research Update - Pasture and performance
Paul Crosson of Teagasc Grange, Dunsany, Co. Meath reports on the effect of pasture type and slaughter age on performance of weanling-to-beef systems. Compared to perennial ryegrass-based pastures, multi-species pastures (swards including mixes of grasses, legumes and herbs) may confer agronomic and animal performance benefits for beef cattle production systems.
- Health & Safety - Food for thought
The Teagasc strategy applies the total worker health model to support farmers with both health and wellbeing and health and safety. Excess body weight is associated with increased injury, cardiovascular disease, cancers, Covid-19 disease severity, musculoskeletal disorders and depression.