Grassland farm walk to look at profitability of dairy calf to beef production

This years Irish Grassland Association (IGA) and Beef Conference and Farm Walk is taking place on June 30 in Co. Longford.

The theme of the 2015 conference is ‘Dairy calf to beef – exploring the potential profit’ and it is sponsored by Bonanza Calf Nutrition.

The IGA says that with the expansion in the dairy herd taking place over the next number of years this could provide opportunities for beef farmers to increase dairy beef output.

There will be two sessions at the conference. The indoor session will focus on the technical aspects of dairy calf to beef production with three papers being presented on economics, nutrition and health.

Dr. Robert Prendiville, Teagasc Grassland and Innovation Centre, Dunsany, Co. Meath will focus on the economics of profitable dairy calf to beef production systems.

Finbarr Kiernan of Finbarr Kiernan Veterinary Practice, Cavan will be speaking at the event about the top ten tips for rearing healthy calves.

Tom Warren of Bonanza Calf Nutrition will be speaking about getting calf nutrition right at the event.

There will also be a discussion forum on the future of dairy calf to beef systems with representatives from Bord Bia, UCD and Teagasc.

The afternoon session will be on the farm of dairy calf to beef farmer Kevin Farrell, Ballymahon, Co. Longford.

Topics to be covered on the farm include the farm plan and financial performance, grassland management on the farm, the calf rearing process and market outlook for dairy calf to beef in the future.

Kevin farms a mixed enterprise lambing 300 ewes and rearing 150 calves from two weeks of age to finish.

Kevin farms 75ha in total with 40ha devoted to the cattle enterprise and 35ha devoted to the sheep enterprise on the farm.

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