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Teagasc Green Acres Newsletter Issue 4

Teagasc Green Acres Newsletter Issue 4

This issue of the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme e-Newsletter has an update on Shane Cranny's farm; Key management tips; Calf mortality - a cost to the system and Antibiotic usage. The Green Acres Calf to Beef e-Newsletter issues fortnightly. See it here

Issue 4 - 22 July 2021

Shane Cranny, Myshall, Co. Carlow

  Animals have performed extremely well on the farm here since turnout. I completed a mid-season weighing on June 19 and I was very happy with how animals have performed since late February. The autumn of 2019-born steers weighed an average of 565kg, after gaining 1.39kg/head/day since February 28. The target weight for these animals was 560kg by mid-August, so they are approximately two months ahead of where they need to be.


Key Management Tips

checklist image

  • Complete second-cut silage harvesting if not already done.
  • Clean out, wash and disinfect calf housing.
  • Review calf rearing on farm. Was it a success? Were there issues with calf mortality and disease?
  • Maintain pre-grazing covers at 1,500kg DM/ha and maintain 18-21 days ahead.
  • Draft any remaining third-season cattle.

Calf mortality - a cost to the system 

calf rearing

Calves lost to mortality on calf to beef farms are a cost to the system. Where higher than desired levels are recorded, the profitability of the system suffers. This occurs not only through the forgone purchase cost of the calf, but also through the variable costs associated with feeding, veterinary treatment and the knackery fee. 


Antibiotic usage


A study was completed earlier this year looking at the timing of antibiotic usage on the farms enrolled in the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme. Limited to farms with just calf to beef enterprises present at farm level, the results indicated that the majority of antibiotic usage coincides with calf rearing at farm level.

What months had the highest usage of antibiotics?

The Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef e-Newsletter will issue fortnightly and you can read it here each fortnight on on Teagasc Daily.