Anyone serious about their future in beef production in this country has no reason not to visit the Teagasc Beef Open Day in Grange, Co. Meath on Wednesday.
The event, which is expected to attract over 5,000 farmers is a key opportunity for those at producer level to get answers to their current woes. The beef industry is in turmoil at the moment and the on-going Beef Summit seems to be having very little affect on the bottom line for farmers. Beef farmers’ incomes are at a level where it doesn’t make economic sense for most of them to be keeping cattle.
That seems to be fine for those with off-farm jobs – they seem happy to sink their Single Farm Payment and their off-farm income into propping up what is a loss-making enterprise for them. But, it does nothing but help drive down the price by indirectly subsidising the processors and ensuring those who are relying fully on a beef income little chance of getting one that is economically viable.
Farmers may say the fault lies at the factory door and will, no doubt, question if there is anything they learn at Grange? Better breeding and genomics or biosecurity or sward quality won’t drive up the price that farmers are currently getting for beef, but they can also help achieve a better price if they improve the overall farm level output. But for anyone who is cynical enough to say they won’t learn anything at the event, they need to think again. If for no other reason, every farmer should attend for the opportunity to talk to the meat processors and hear what they have to say. And, more importantly, to ask pertinent questions about the price of beef they are receiving from said processors.
If you have questions about the industry and your future in it, you should use this opportunity to ask voice them on Wednesday.