4 reasons why farmers should flock to beef conference

The Irish Grassland Association (IGA) will hold its national beef conference in the Headfort Arms Hotel, Kells, Co. Meath on Wednesday, June 21.

This year’s conference will focus on efficiency and it will provide farmers with technical updates on how they can improve profit inside the farm-gate.

An afternoon farm visit to well-known suckler farmer, Tom Halpin, will conclude the event.

1. Expert line-up of speakers

An “impressive” line-up of speakers has been announced for the event.

Joe Burke, Beef and Lamb Sector Manager with Bord Bia, will present a paper outlining what is known so far on Brexit and its likely implications for the Irish beef industry.

Christy Watson, a Teagasc drystock advisor, will analyse data from a number of finishing farms in Co. Kildare. He will outline how five-star terminal progeny compare with one-star terminal progeny in terms of carcass gain, feed costs and profitability.

The final presentation will be led by Dr. Michael Egan. The Teagasc research officer will look at grass management on beef farms and the advantages and profitability gains to be reaped from managing grass correctly.

The presentation will also feature details of a recent clover project Egan has been conducting on commercial farms.

2. Topical debate

To conclude the morning session, a forum discussion – ‘Where to now for Irish beef farmers?’ – will see an “expert” panel of farmers, as well as “leading” industry figures, debate the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead for Irish beef farmers.

3. Farm walk

The afternoon session will mean travelling out to the farm of suckler farmer, Tom Halpin, who operates on 160ac in Carlanstown, Kells, Co. Meath.

Over the past six years, the farm has undergone a rapid expansion and cow numbers have grown from 60 to 100 during that period.

Halpin was a past participant in the BETTER Farm Beef Programme. The farm has changed from set-stocking to a paddock system. Grass is measured weekly and recorded on PastureBase.

4. Top-class stock

Those in attendance will see “top-class” cows and progeny from Limousin, Simmental and Charolais bulls. Attendees will also see, first-hand, how Halpin has increased efficiency on his farm and how this has affected the bottom line.

The Irish Grassland Association national beef conference aims to provide farmers and stakeholders in the beef industry with the opportunity to converse with industry experts and other farmers in the sector.

The conference begins at 10:00am on Wednesday, June 21, in the Headfort Arms Hotel, Kells, Co. Meath.

Pre-booking is essential as places are limited and tickets will be issued on a first-come basis. For further information, visit the Irish Grassland Association website.