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Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme Launched

A new Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme has been launched. This new programme will demonstrate profitable dairy calf to beef systems on a whole farm basis through a network of ten demonstration farms. The primary aim is to demonstrate that, where a high level of technical efficiency is achieved on beef farms, it is possible to attain a net margin per hectare (excluding premia) in excess of €500 per hectare.

Speaking at the launch in Tullamore, County Offaly, Director of Knowledge Transfer in Teagasc, Dr Tom Kelly thanked the ten farmers and their families for putting themselves forward to participate in the programme saying that he looked forward to working with them to demonstrate what can be achieved and what lessons can be learned by other beef producers.

Over the next three years, Gordon Peppard, Teagasc, the dedicated programme adviser will deliver the new Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme supported by Drummonds Ltd., Liffey Mills, Volac Ireland, Grassland Agro and MSD Animal Health. Regular monthly updates will be published by the Farming Independent who is the media partner on the programme.

Speaking on behalf of the partner organisations that are funding the programme, Michael Slattery, General Manager of Drummonds Limited, said that the objective is to develop a profitable calf to beef blueprint. He said that hugely important whole farm data will emerge from the programme.

The six keys to improving technical efficiency have been identified as animal health, calf rearing, soil fertility, grassland management, farm planning and financial management. The ten participating farmers are:

  • David Drum, Athboy, Co Meath
  • Eamonn Kirk, Dundalk, Co. Louth
  • Conor Greene, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
  • Michael Ryan, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath
  • Michael Flynn, Nenagh, Co. Tipperary
  • Christy Dowd, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon
  • Joe Farrell, Castledermot, Co. Kildare
  • John Lalor, Ballyfin, Co. Laois
  • Pat Bowden, Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny
  • Ben Sweeney, Enfield, Co. Meath