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Teagasc Suckler Breeding Farm Walks

Teagasc and the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation are running 16 Suckler Breeding Farm Walks across the country over the coming weeks.

With the new Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) launched this week by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) these farm walks will be focusing on the main requirements suckler farmers will be expected to meet to maximise their payments, and the key breeding technologies that will help to achieve them.

All of the farm walks are taking place on commercial suckler farms that are already achieving a very high breeding performance from their herds.  A number of them are Signpost Demonstration Farms who are participating in the Teagasc FutureBeef programme.

Teagasc beef specialists and advisors, along with ICBF technical staff, will be available to discuss with farmers the most suitable options for breeding future replacement heifers for their herds.  Under the new Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP), farmers must become a member of Bord Bia’s SBLAS (Sustainable Beef and Lamb Assurance Scheme) by October 16th, 2023, and maintain membership throughout their SCEP contract term. This means for the duration of the five-year programme.  Bord Bia staff will be available at all of the breeding walks to discuss with farmers who may not currently be in SBLAS, how they can apply to join it and the key requirements to gain entry.

With an increasing interest among suckler farmers in using more AI in their herds there will also be a focus at these walks on synchronisation options for cows and heifers, as well as information on how sexed semen may be of benefit to suckler herds.  Farmers will have the opportunity to discuss beef bulls available through AI in 2023, along with the new sensor technologies to aid heat detection that are now on the market with the staff from various companies.

Pearse Kelly, Head of Drystock Knowledge Transfer, Teagasc said; “The new Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme launched this week will be a welcome boost for suckler farmer incomes across the country.  Some of the conditions of the programme will require changes to be made in the breeding strategies on some farms.  These farm walks are an ideal opportunity for farmers to see suckler herds that are hitting all of their breeding targets, and to discuss with a wide variety of experts how they can meet the requirements of the SCEP on their own farms.”

A full list of all of the farm walks, including the date and time they are on at, can be got at www.teagasc.ie/sucklerbreedingwalks . The first walk takes place on 29th March in county Cork with the final event taking place on 27th April.  Farmers and all interested are welcome to attend.