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Beef Newsletter - May 2023

11 May 2023
Type Newsletter

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In this month's edition:

  • Key deadlines
    Suckler Carbon Efficiency Programme (SCEP) midnight on May 22, 2023.
    Basic Income Support for Sustainability (BISS) midnight on May 29, 2023.
  • Date for the diary
    On Tuesday May 23, Teagasc and Dawn Meats in collaboration with the Irish Farmers Journal and McDonalds, are delighted to welcome all farmers and stakeholders in the beef sector to the Newford Suckler Demonstration Farm Open Day. Find out more or book your ticket here
  • Making quality silage
    It is difficult to predict next winter’s concentrate prices. Beef farmers who have been growing or finishing cattle will need to offset the rising meal price per tonne (t) by improving the quality of silage they make this year, which will allow them to feed less meal per head, while still achieving target growth rates.
  • Research update - Sub-fertile bulls
    David Kenny of the Teagasc Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Grange, Co. Meath reports on some of the factors affecting the fertility of bulls. Irish statistics suggest that the main reasons for the culling of natural service breeding bulls in beef herds were: injury (23.2%); locomotory issues (21.9%); and, infertility per se (7.2%). Infertility is undoubtedly underestimated given that many sterile bulls are now being identified at an earlier stage following the recent adoption of bull breeding soundness evaluations (BBSEs). Sub-fertility is estimated to affect 20-25% of bulls.
  • 12 steps to reducing emissions
    Over 12 months, the Teagasc advisory newsletters will outline one action per month farmers can take to reduce their emissions. This month the focus is on step six - Better grassland management.
  • Health & Safety - Safety this breeding season
    May is a very active farming month, particularly with machinery work, including spraying, silage harvesting, and fertiliser and slurry spreading. May is also one of the main breeding months on many farms. Health and Safety Authority (HSA) figures show that bulls were involved in over 16% of livestock-related deaths on Irish farms in the last 10 years. It is important that facilities for cattle handling are present, appropriate, well designed and maintained, and that tasks with animals are properly planned and organised.