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Beef Production System Guidelines launched

Teagasc in conjunction with Bord Bia launched Beef Production System Guidelines at the National Ploughing Championships in Ratheniska, Co. Laois. Pictured are Aidan Murray, Teagasc Beef Specialist, Simon Coveney, Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Joe Ryan, Meat Industry Ireland, Professor Gerry Boyle, Director, Teagasc & Joe Burke, Bord Bia, Pearse Kelly, Head of Drystock, Teagasc. Photo O'Gorman Photography

Teagasc in conjunction with Bord Bia has produced Beef Production System Guidelines. The guidelines, which cover 14 different cattle production systems, were launched by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney TD on the Teagasc stand at the national ploughing championships in Laois today, Wednesday 23 September.

These guidelines were produced on foot of the discussions at the Beef Roundtable chaired by the Minister, in order to reflect the different production systems that are present on many Irish beef farms. They contain farm management advice that will be of value to farmers currently in, or considering these systems of beef production.

Speaking at the launch today, Minister Coveney said; “These guidelines are another positive outcome from the Beef Roundtable process and will be of real use to farmers involved in different types of beef production. The practical advice contained in them includes best practice for managing cattle in different production systems to achieve target daily gains, and an estimate of the inputs required and the outputs that can be achieved in order to drive farm profitability. Most importantly these guidelines will also increase awareness among farmers and the industry of the different requirements for beef sold to different markets.”

Teagasc Director Professor Gerry Boyle said; ”All of the performance data and estimates of inputs and outputs outlined for each system in these guidelines is based on data generated from Teagasc research in Grange Research Centre and Johnstown Castle. It also includes data verified in Teagasc research demonstration herds such as the Derrypatrick herd in Grange.”

Pearse Kelly, Head of Drystock Knowledge Transfer Department in Teagasc said; “No one beef production system is the optimum system for finishing beef cattle with each having its own merits and risks. For any beef system to be profitable and sustainable in the long term, there are a number of guidelines and targets that beef farmers need to be aware of, and should work towards achieving. Producers also need to discuss market specifications with their meat processor to have a clear understanding of what the market requires.”

Joe Burke, from Bord Bia said; “Irish beef is supplied to over 85 EU supermarket chains, as well as major manufacturing and foodservice customers, who have specific requirements with regard to the type of beef that they buy. With this in mind, production systems need to supply prime beef which meets the demands of our most important markets.”

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