Teagasc to host national suckler cow conference in Castlebar

Teagasc Mayo are hosting a suckler cow conference on Tuesday, February 12, in the Breaffy House Hotel, Castlebar, Co. Mayo.

The event will run from 7:00pm – 9:00pm and is a Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Knowledge Transfer (KT) approved national beef event.

Speaking in advance of the upcoming conference John Noonan, Teagasc drystock advisor, Westport office said: “Feeding the suckler cow can be one of the biggest costs incurred on the farm.”

According to a statement from Teagasc, a range of topics will be covered on the night, including:
  • Grassland management with a focus on early spring grass;
  • Cow nutrition;
  • The newly-released Beef Environmental Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) scheme;
  • Prospective markets for the progeny of the suckler cow.

Noonan will highlight ways to maximise the proportion of grazed grass in the annual feed budget of the suckler cow.

Noonan believes that huge potential exists on almost all beef farms – in the west of Ireland – to increase the level of grass grown and utilized.

John has identified three key areas that beef farmers should focus on this spring. These include: soil fertility, targeting early spring grass; and a grazing management plan.

Also speaking at the event, UCD’s beef specialist, Dr. Alan Kelly, will highlight the importance of feeding the suckler cow to reduce costs, minimise calving difficulties and maximise reproductive efficiency.

Chris Daly from the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) will present the objectives and the requirements outlined in the new Beef Environment and Efficiency Pilot (BEEP) scheme.

He will explain to attendees the correct weighing procedures and the importance of collecting this data.

Daly will also give an overview on updates and developments from the ICBF for 2019.

Finally, Paul Nolan from Dawn Meats will look at market prospects for the progeny of the sucker cow and outline where the markets are currently, what the consumer wants and how tastes are changing.

This is a Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine Knowledge Transfer approved national beef event and sign-in is from 6:30pm to 7:30pm.

All are welcome to attend the event.