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DairyBeef500 walks commence this autumn

DairyBeef500 walks commence this autumn

Following on the highly successful Green Acres, the recently launched DairyBeef500 Campaign which aims to promote and demonstrate socially, environmentally and financially sustainable dairy-beef systems, sees the first of its on farm walks begin this autumn. Tommy Cox, DairyBeef500 advisor reports

Joint Grass10 - DairyBeef500 event with Aidan Maguire, Co. Meath

The first event will be a joint event in conjunction with the Grass 10 campaign and will be held on the farm of 2021 Grass10 Drystock Grassland Farmer of the Year winner Aidan Maguire who operates a Dairy calf to beef system on 46 hectares just outside Navan Co Meath. 

The event will take place on Wednesday 31st of August 2022 31 August 2022 at 6.30pm.

The main focus of the event will demonstrate the improvements in grassland management on the farm in recent years and how this has had a positive effect on animal performance, subsequently has led to a reduction in the age in which animals are slaughtered. On the day those in attendance will get a chance to see the infrastructure on the farm and how that allows grass to managed effectively on the farm. Aidan will also share his experience on grass measuring and how it effect how he runs his farm. Other topics that will be discussed on the day is improvements to soil fertility on the farm as well as well as how a reseeding programme has been incorporated on the farm,  which includes the introduction of red clover on the farm with the aim of reducing chemical nitrogen requirement for growing silage crops.

In the clip below, Aidan gives an insight into what will be discussed at his farm walk.

Fergal Maguire, Dairy Beef 500 advisor, is one of the guests on this week’s Beef Edge podcast (below) and he gives an update on Aidan Maguire's farm and what to expect at the walk.

Find out more at Grassland Farmer of the Year Drystock Enterprise Winner - Aidan Maguire Farm Walk

DairyBeef500 event with Richard Long, Co.Waterford

Then our attention turns south east when on the 8th of September at 3 o’clock Richard Long will host our second event on his farm in Ballymacarbry Co.Waterford.

Richard operates a calf to beef system on 47ha of grassland after making the change from a suckler system in 2014. Calves are sourced directly off his brother’s standalone dairy herd across the border in Tipperary.  Generally a mixture of continental and early-maturing sired bulls and heifers are purchased annually.

The close relationship between the brothers has allowed for more joined up thinking to occur when it comes to the genetics and breeding decisions on the dairy farm and this allows for an animal of improved beef merit to be produced, without having negative consequences on the dairy herd’s reproductive performance. This relationship has proved beneficial for both farms.

Richard is getting an animal that has the potential to produce a produce a heavier, better-conformed carcass at a younger age, while Richards’s brothers Mike and Liam are maintaining calving ease and the calving interval of their herd with no negative effect on milk production while also producing a highly saleable calf.  

Other topics for discussion

Along with looking at the importance of improving calf genetics and aiming to build relationships between dairy and beef producers. Other topics for discussion on the day will be improvements made in the grazing infrastructure on the farm. The farm is serviced by an extensive network of roadways and paddocks all of which were installed by Richard.  Soil fertility corrections are ongoing on the farm and Richard will talk up though his liming programme and how he has started to build P and K levels on the farm. The importance of a good herd health programme in Dairybeef systems to ensure optimum performance throughout their lives from birth through to finishing will be discussed and Richard will take us through protocols taken on his farm to ensure animals remain healthy.

Find out more and book your ticket at Richard Long - DairyBeef500 Demonstration Farm Walk

 The DairyBeef 500 Campaign is led by Teagasc and will promote the adoption of best practice at farm level to increase the future viability and sustainability of the Irish beef sector. The DairyBeef500 Campaign is part of the Teagasc Signpost Programme.

Find out about the Grass10 programme | Sign up for weekly grass 10 newsletter

The Teagasc Beef Specialists issue an article on a topic of interest to Suckler and Beef farmers every Wednesday here on Teagasc Daily. Teagasc provides a Local Advisory and Education service to farmers. Find your local Teagasc office here