ABP Food Group’s Advantage Beef Programme team is set to host a series of farmer information meetings over the coming two weeks.
The information meetings are aimed at farmers buying calves and rearing them to beef, but they are open for both Advantage Beef Programme members and non members to attend.
Both dairy and beef farmers are welcome to attend too.
Speaking to Agriland ahead of the events, ABP’s Farm Liaison Team Leader Amie Coonan said: “The information meetings will focus on best practice when it comes to calf health and calf nutrition and will also examine the importance of looking further into the genetic composition of dairy calf to beef animals.”
“We aim to keep these evenings interactive throughout and there will be interesting tutorials as well as informative videos with questions welcome throughout.
The three events taking place are as follows:
- Clonakilty Park Hotel, Clonakilty, Co. Cork: Tuesday, November 29;
- Horse and Jockey Hotel, Co. Tipperary: Wednesday, November 30;
- Springhill Court Hotel, Co. Kilkenny: Tuesday, December 6.
Coonan continued: “Tommy Heffernan, or ‘Tommy the vet’ as he is better known as, will be in attendance to speak on calf health.”
The vet will be speaking about factors to consider when buying calves such as the source farm, vaccinations and rumen development.
Coonan will be speaking on calf nutrition and will be discussing best practice when weaning the calf from milk and onto concentrates.
ABP agri-sustainability manager Stephen Connolly and farm liaison officer Sean Maher will deliver presentations on the performance of calves on the ABP Demo Farm and the kill-out data to date this year.
They will also outline the importance of genetics and we will be showing how different cattle killed out from different artificial insemination (AI) bulls and what the better genetics is worth to the farmer in carcass weight.
An explainer will be offered to farmers on how to find the Commercial Beef Value (CBV) of an animal and the beef sub-index value of a bull.
Farmers who want to know the values of a stockbull or AI bull can bring along the bulls tag number on the night and a member of the Advantage Beef Programme will check the bull’s figures and show farmers what to look out for.
AI companies will be in attendance on the night and refreshments will be served.