Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme launched

The second phase of the Teagasc Green Acres Dairy Calf to Beef Programme was launched at a function in the Tullamore Court Hotel yesterday evening, Tuesday, April 9.

The idea of the programme is to share information from the 14 participating farms with beef producers across the country to help farmers improve the performance of their businesses.

The programme will follow the progress made over the next three years by 14 beef farmers who are all buying dairy-bred calves.

It follows on from the first successful phase of the programme that ended in 2018.

Two dedicated full-time programme advisors will work closely with each of the 14 farmers.

They will focus on improving their overall farm profitability through:
  • Better grassland management;
  • Calf rearing skills;
  • Animal health;
  • Financial management;
  • Overall farm planning.

This is a joint industry-funded initiative that is supported by: MSD Animal Health; Volac; Corteva Agriscience; Liffey Mills; Munster Bovine; Drummonds; and AgriLand.

Speaking at the launch, Prof. Gerry Boyle, director of Teagasc, said: “I would like to thank all of the beef farmers and their families who have agreed for their farms to be used as demonstration farms.

I would also like to thank our industry partners who are funding this innovative programme, and our media partner, AgriLand.

Fergal Morris, general manager of MSD Animal Health Ireland, said: “On behalf of the industry sponsors of the Teagasc Green Acres Dairy Calf to Beef Programme, we are delighted to be involved in sponsoring this exciting farm programme.”

Each of the farms will have the performance of their stock monitored on a regular basis.

They will complete a Teagasc eProfit Monitor annually, and will record their grass covers weekly on PastureBase Ireland.

Finally, they will have a three-year-plan, including a whole farm nutrient management plan, drawn up for them.

Teagasc cattle specialist, and manager of the new programme, Alan Dillon, said: “One of the main objectives is to disseminate the information generated on these 14 farms to the wider audience of beef farmers who are practicing, or considering, a calf to beef enterprise on their farm.

This will be done through a variety of methods, including media, technical notes and on-farm events over the three years of the programme.

Managing Director of AgriLand, Cormac Farrelly, welcomed its involvement as media partner to the programme.

“We’re hugely excited to be working with Teagasc and the stakeholders on such an innovative programme,” he said.

We hope to set a new standard of how these media partnerships work and, as always, intend to ensure that the key messages and learnings from the programme are brought to as wide an audience as possible.

To learn more about the Teagasc Green Acres Dairy Calf to Beef Programme and to meet the participating farmers, visit the Teagasc website.