Teagasc Presentation

Teagasc Presentation
(Beef Round Table)
Tuesday, 3rd June 2014
Professor Gerry Boyle
Director, Teagasc
Pearse Kelly
Head of Drystock Knowledge Transfer, Teagasc
Beef Production in Ireland
• Irish beef, renowned worldwide for its quality, is
produced to the highest standards of food safety.
• Ireland is the largest net exporter of beef in Europe and
the fourth largest net exporter of beef in the world.
• The most dominant enterprise on the majority of Irish
farms: 90,000 with cattle enterprise; 60,000 suckler with
average herd size of 17 cows
• Global demand for protein increasing
Teagasc National Farm Survey 2013 Estimates
Challenges in beef production
• Low profitability at farm level
• Poor technical performance; needs significant technical
• Suckler cow type needs significant genetic improvement
• Significant increase in productivity at farm level: better
grassland management
• Re-appraisal of beef production system (steers v young
bull; age at finishing; calving pattern)
Without producer technical innovation the outlook for beef
profitability is poor.
Teagasc Communication with Beef Industry
Two Main Avenues:• Teagasc Beef Stakeholder Group
• Meets 3 times per year
• Discusses future research and KT requirements
• Teagasc-ICBF Beef Technical Working Group
• Recently established
• Meets quarterly
• Working on areas of common interest
Teagasc BEEF 2014 – 18th June Grange
Key messages on innovation to improve Profitability
• Maximising grazed grass in the animals diet
• Having a clear breeding strategy
• New Replacement Index key
• Aiming for 365 day calving interval, calf per cow per year, calving
heifers at 24 months of age
• Information drive similar to the Dairy EBI campaign
• Profitability of current beef systems
• Suckler steer, heifer and bull systems
• Dairy Calf to beef systems incl. early maturing breeds
Profitability versus Risk
Profitability per hectare with beef systems is important
Varying risks associated with different systems
Market Risk – Producers need to talk to processors
Weather Risk – Can affect grassland mgt. & silage quality
Management Risk – Some systems more demanding
Facilities Required – Higher costs associated with some
Recent developments in Teagasc beef programme
• Establishment of the New Maternal Index herd
• Introduction of the Beef Genomics Scheme (significant Teagasc
• Development of BTAP & Teagasc/IFJ BETTER Beef programme
• New Joint programmes with industry (Dawn, ABP,
• New Suckler demo farm being planned
• Research review has identified several important areas where
new projects are needed
• Beef 2014 is the major Teagasc event of 2014
Thank You
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