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Exploring the opportunities in dairy beef

Exploring the opportunities in dairy beef

Dairy-beef production is not a new phenomenon. Its role in Irish beef production, however, has increased significantly in recent years on account of a rise in dairy cow numbers nationally.

With additional calves of dairy origin being available for beef production and new research derived technologies coming to the fore, calf-to-beef producers – either seasoned operators, those having entered in recent times or those seeking an alternative beef farming enterprise – have an opportunity to develop a sustainable enterprise, ticking the three boxes of profitable, environmental and social sustainability. As ever is the case though, the success of the above will centre on farmers selecting the most appropriate system for their farm and using the technologies available to maximise profitability.

As part of the BEEF2024 Open Day, taking place at Teagasc Grange, Co. Meath, Eircode: C15 PW93 on June 26, attendees will have an opportunity to find out more about the work ongoing in Teagasc – both at research and demonstration farm level – to take the potential opportunities that dairy-beef systems offer and turn them into viable systems of production.

Central to the success of any beef farming enterprise is identifying the system that best suits your farm. Through the Dairy Calf-to-Beef Village, Teagasc researchers, specialists and advisory staff will be on hand to detail the nuances between each system, the elements required to make them a success and the levels of performance needed to optimise these systems on your farm.

Along with production targets and system types, the role of genetics will be explored, specifically focusing on the Commercial Beef Value (CBV) and how this tool can identify animals with the potential to produce carcasses of higher value at younger ages.

Both experienced producers and newcomers to dairy-beef often cite health as a significant challenge. Throughout the Dairy Calf-to-Beef Village at BEEF2024, detailed information will be provided on reducing respiratory diseases and managing parasites on dairy-beef farms.

BEEF2024 also offers visitors an opportunity to meet the teams behind the Teagasc DairyBeef 500 Campaign and the Tipperary Dairy Calf-to-Beef Demonstration Farm, who will provide updates from the respective demonstration farms involved, highlighting their targets, profitability levels and their learnings to date from both initiatives.

In addition to information stands, DairyBeef 500 Campaign participants will feature in a forum at 12:30pm, where they will outline the progress they have made since they joined, and their plans to improve profitability and reduce environmental impact through the adoption of the latest technologies.

More on BEEF2024

To learn more about the opportunities in dairy-beef, please visit BEEF2024 at Teagasc Grange, Co. Meath, Eircode: C15 PW93, on June 26. The open day commences at 9am. There will be plenty of opportunities to engage with Teagasc researchers, specialists and advisory staff, along with farmers operating dairy calf-to-beef systems. For more information on BEEF2024, click here.

Photo caption: Dr Nicky Byrne and Jamie O'Driscoll pictured with the dairy-beef research herd in Teagasc Grange.