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Teagasc National Beef Conference

“Achieving Profitability from Beef at Farm Level” is the theme for the upcoming Teagasc National Beef Conference which will take place on Tuesday, 5 April in Cillin Hill,Livestock mart, Kilkenny. The opportunities for Irish beef producers will be explored and the steps necessary to achieve profit from beef at farm level will be discussed.

 

Announcing details of the conference Bernard Smyth, beef specialist with Teagasc, said:” Profitable returns across the entire production chain will be key to ensure the Food Harvest 2020 target of a 20% increase in output value for the beef sector is achieved. CAP reform post 2013 and Mercosur trade talks will be critical to the future of both Irish and EU beef producers.”

 

This conference will challenge both the industry and farmers in what needs to be achieved to restore profitability at farm level. Exploiting the potential of grazed grass, being proactive in the animal health area and concentrating on breeding efficiency and breed improvement in the beef cow herd will offer progressive Irish beef farmers opportunities to significantly lift profit levels.

 

Bernard Smyth said:”Food Harvest 2020 states that “a viable suckler cow beef herd of sufficient size is fundamental for the development of the beef industry”. Irish cattle production since decoupling, has struggled to achieve profitability and has depended heavily on the Single Farm Payment for its survival. There has been some contraction already to the beef cow herd and lack of profitability at farm level is the greatest threat. Protecting beef cow numbers will only result from adopting proven technologies to boost output and reduce production costs per kilogramme of beef. Recent modest increases in beef prices are very welcome but the net benefit to the bottom line is threatened by significant increases in input costs like concentrates, fertiliser and energy costs.”

 

The potential for increased AI use on suckler farms to increase production in the beef herd will be explored in the final session of the conference. A live exhibit of AI progeny along with an open discussion forum will take place in the afternoon.

 

Discussing details of the upcoming Teagasc National Beef Conference which is due to take place in Cillin Hill, Livestock Mart, Kilkenny on Tuesday 5th April were Frank O’Mara, Director of Research, Teagasc; Andrew Cromie, ICBF; Robin Talbott, Abbeyleix farmer and Michael Doran, Chairman, Livestock Committee