Tomorrow October 4th, the Teagasc National Beef Conference will take place at 3pm in the Hodson Bay Hotel, Athlone. It's a free event, and there’ll be plenty of guest speakers present to discuss this year’s theme, 'Practice into Profit'.
Eddie O’Riordan of Teagasc Grange will chair the first session, focusing on optimising profit in dairy calf to beef systems. This is because of the increase in dairy calves across the country, according to Teagasc.
Teagasc says that ‘Rob Prendiville, Teagasc researcher, will present the latest research coming from Johnstown Castle where all systems of dairy calf-to-beef have been evaluated’.
“He will provide an update on the results into the physical and financial performance of steer and heifer calf-to-beef systems. Martin Kavanagh, a consultant vet, has vast experience of calf rearing on a large scale. He will detail the main issues that arise on many farms in relation to calf health, calf nutrition and the many environmental factors affecting performance of these types of animals.”
Alan Kehoe, a Friesian calf-to-beef farmer will also be there to outline his system of steer beef production. According to the Teagasc website, Alan returned from Australia in 2012 and there were no cattle present on the farm; he will outline the pathway he has followed from starting with 25 Friesian calves in 2012, to rearing 120 calves this year.
“Doreen Corridan, of the Munster Cattle Breeding Group, will chair the second session which will focus on breeding suckler cows to maximise profitability. Laurent Griffon is travelling from the Institut de l’Elevage in Paris to share his experience of the French beef breeding programme. He will provide the audience with an insight into how they have been working with French beef farmers for many years to make genetic progress among the main beef breeds in France.
David Clarke, a suckler farmer from County Tipperary will explain how the accurate recording of birth weights, weaning weights and other performance data has helped him to make more informed decisions when breeding and choosing his own replacement heifers. Finally, Donagh Berry, Teagasc geneticist, will outline the future potential of genomic selection in our national suckler herd. His paper titled “Squeezing more benefits out of genomics” will give an insight into the future developments and benefits of genomic selection to the national beef herd.”