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How the Dairy Beef Index is adding value to Irish dairy and beef herds

Alan Twomey and Nicky Byrne join Emma-Louise on this week’s Dairy Edge podcast with an overview of the non-replacement dairy calves contribution to the beef production systems and suggest how farmers can add value to both dairy and beef farms.

Alan gives an insight into the Dairy Beef Index which is an economic index that promotes high quality beef animals from the dairy herd. The index represents 50% of dairy traits such as gestation length and calving ease and 50% beef traits such as carcass weight and carcass confirmation.

Nicky explains that 57% of cattle meat processed in Ireland is coming from the dairy herd and concerns exist due to a growing proportion of these animals failing to reach minimum carcass standards at slaughter.

Nicky documents results from his research at Teagasc Grange where he compared Holstein-Friesian and Angus cross animals through to slaughter. The Angus cross animals achieved spec for slaughter one month earlier than the Holstein-Friesian animals at a higher spec and with lower levels of concentrate fed.

For more episodes from the Dairy Edge podcast go to the show page at:www.teagasc.ie/the-dairy-edge-podcast

The Dairy Edge is a co-production with LastCastMedia.com