Teagasc commits to increasing beef sires used on its dairy herds

The director of Teagasc, Prof. Gerry Boyle, has announced that the entity has committed to using a greater proportion of beef sires on its dairy farms.

Speaking at the launch of Phase II of the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme, Prof. Boyle confirmed that all of its farms nationwide “have committed to only using Jersey sires where sexed semen is used”.

Continuing, the Teagasc director said: “A lot of discussion has gone on in the last number of months with regards to the quality of dairy calves that are being produced in Ireland from the dairy herds.”

He noted that the food development authority will be “shortly issuing an important communication to all farmers with regards to using best practice in relation to the breeding of potential beef stock for the future”.

We’re saying to dairy farmers that they need to look at the number of dairy-bred calves that they need on their farms and not to have an excess supply of these.

A new dairy/beef index

He also announced that Teagasc, along with the ICBF, has developed “a new dairy/beef index which is promoting quality beef production as part of the direct components of the index”.

“We think that if dairy farmers use the new index, once they have bred their replacements, they can go on to produce quality animals that then can be taken up by beef rearers and produce good profit.

“That is the way of the future,” he said.

We in Teagasc are certainly committed to having a rational, sensible breeding programme that can allow calf rearers to make a satisfactory profit.

Concluding, Prof. Boyle wished the programme well and said he is “immensely looking forward to the various milestones that will be achieved over the programme”.

He thanked the farmers involved for their commitment, as well as his advisory colleagues and AgriLand.

Finally, he thanked all of the sponsors and his colleagues in research who, he said, will all be “backing up this programme 100%”.