Addressing Teagasc’s national beef conference in Mayo on December 10th, Alan Dillon, Teagasc beef specialist, said that improvements in technical efficiency have led to increases in profitability for the top third cohort of suckler calf-to-beef farmers completing Teagasc profit monitor analysis.
“When adjusted for beef price increases, the top third of farmers have increased net margin from €293/hectare to €380/hectare for the period 2008 to 2018.”
“Premia, as a percentage of total farm profit, has reduced from 63 per cent to 57 per cent in this time period,” he added.
“Achieving high live weight gains from grazed pasture is a key target for beef farmers; weekly grass budgeting allied to investment in grassland infrastructure have led to improvements in gross margins for beef farmers.”
Live weight output targets
He highlighted that a productive cow-herd producing a calf per cow annually, during a compact calving season, makes an important component of meeting live weight output targets.
He stressed that underlying all animal performance, is having a healthy herd.
Dillion told attendees that one Co. Wicklow farmer improved their net margin by 70% by increasing the level of vaccination in the herd and making “simple” modifications to cattle sheds to improve ventilation.