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Beef Newsletter - October 2022

10 October 2022
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • Autumn grass planner
    Your grazing management plan in October will determine how much grass you will have on your farm next February and March. Farms that are targeting to turn at least some stock out between Valentine’s Day and St Patrick’s Day need to start closing-up fields and paddocks no later than October 10. These fields will continue to grow grass over the coming weeks, building up covers that will remain there over winter.
  • Meal feeding calves and weanlings
    Dairy-bred calves need to be supplemented at grass in the autumn to ensure they continue to grow. While the protein in grass is high at this time of the year, the energy is dropping. Depending on grass supply and weather conditions, calves should be fed between 1.0 and 1.5kg of concentrate per head per day until housing.
  • Silage quality and quantity
    Have you tested your grass silage this year? With lower levels of fertiliser spread this year and delayed cutting dates on many farms, the suspicion is that silage quality may be lower than in previous years. Alternatively, where crops were cut at the correct grass growth stage and quality is good, there may be an opportunity to cut back on the amount of meal that needs to be fed to growing cattle in a year where meal prices are rising fast.
  • Vaccination
    A pneumonia outbreak around housing is one of the leading causes of death in beef weanlings. Stress, overcrowding and poor ventilation are the main reasons for these outbreaks. Losses are common and even where deaths are kept to a minimum, there is a long-term impact on animal performance, with significantly increased workloads and disruption all round.
  • Research Update - Food-feed competition
    Paul Crosson, Peter Doyle and Mark Kearney report on research at Teagasc Grange on the implications for beef cattle production systems of food-feed competition. Beef cattle consume human-inedible forages and by-product feedstuffs and convert them into high value human food in the form of beef meat. In doing so, they make a critical contribution to human food security. However, human-edible cereal grains are also often fed to beef cattle as animal feed, and this diminishes the contribution of livestock to net human food production.
  • New calf-to-beef course
    Teagasc will commence a new advanced dairy calf-to-beef course in October 2022 as part of the DairyBeef 500 campaign. This course is designed to help farmers plan and implement a dairy calf-to-beef system on their farm, which will allow them to maximise their resources while at the same time hitting the key performance indicators that need to be met to ensure that their farm is operating at a high level of profitability. Find out more here
  • Health and Safety - Winter and well-being
    Get ready for the winter. With animals returning indoors the yard will become very busy. It is important to check that your safety electrical switches or residual current devices (RCD) are working correctly. Check that farmyard lighting is adequate, as poor lighting is associated with farm accidents.