Teagasc DairyBEEF2019 Open Day
Teagasc has announced details of DairyBEEF2019, the Teagasc Dairy Calf-to-Beef Open Day, which will take place on the 21 May 2019 on the beef farm at the Teagasc, Environment Research Centre, Johnstown Castle, Co Wexford. All livestock farmers are welcome and encouraged to attend.
It’s an excellent opportunity for farmers to hear about sustainable farming practices that are good for the environment, and good for farm profitability.
The theme of the event is ‘Advancing Knowledge for an Evolving Industry’. The Open Day will feature extensive information and analysis of the four critical areas of dairy beef;
- Systems and Economics of Production,
- Calf rearing and Health
- Sustainable Grassland Management.
Speaking at the launch of DairyBEEF2019, John Finn, Teagasc Johnstown Castle Enterprise Leader encouraged all grassland farmers to come along on the day; “We are delighted to host the DairyBEEF2019 Open Day at Johnstown Castle on 21 May. It’s an excellent opportunity for farmers to hear about sustainable farming practices that are good for the environment, and good for farm profitability. There will be associated talks and demonstrations, and national specialists will be available for discussion throughout the day. We are delighted to have John Watchorn, Grass10 Beef Grassland Farmer of the Year, with us on the day to talk about his farm and grassland management practices.”
Head of Teagasc Livestock Systems, Padraig French said; “this event will have a major focus on sustainable grass production systems and will be of interest to all livestock farmers. It will provide an opportunity to discuss dairy-beef production with producers. There are approximately one million dairy male calves and dairy-beef cross calves now available for beef production in Ireland. Beef farmers should evaluate dairy-beef production as an opportunity to potentially improve the profitability of their business. The systems and economics village at the open day will include comprehensive comparisons of different dairy beef production systems and finishing regimes, including profitability analysis. In the genetics village, farmers will hear a thorough breakdown of the new Dairy Beef Index (DBI) and learn about the new dairy-beef programmes within Teagasc and the work being carried out by the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF).”
A key message of the event is maximising production and farm efficiency from grass while reducing the effect of production on the environment. “Irish livestock systems will need to meet stringent environment targets that will require increased knowledge and technology,” explains John Finn. “Farmers attending the DairyBEEF2019 Open Day can hear about the latest research from Teagasc on environmentally sustainable farming that also contributes to production efficiency. This includes effective nutrient management, low emissions slurry spreading and use of protected urea that contributes to soil fertility, protection of water quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions.”
The calf rearing village will include practical topics, such as calf feeding and housing and health management, “The health of the calf is a major determining factor in the success of the calf rearing period and the overall profitability of a dairy calf to beef enterprise,” says Ruth Fennell, Teagasc research technologist on the Calf-to-beef programme at Johnstown Castle. “Our goal is to equip farmers with the most recent research, knowledge and tools to ensure that they purchase the correct calves for their system, manage these correctly in the first number of months so that the calves reach their lifelong performance targets and leave a margin behind them.”
The DairyBEEF2019 Open Day on 21 May is a Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, dairy and beef Knowledge Transfer event.