How are the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme farms performing in 2020?

We are now in the second year of the second phase of the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme.

The objective of this programme is to advise and demonstrate best practice at farm level on the rearing, growing and finishing of purchased dairy-bred calves through to slaughter.

In addition, the programme aims to show the physical and financial performance from participating farms located right across the country.

During the three-year programme, farmers strive to make improvements in many different areas such as: calf purchasing and rearing; grassland management; animal health; forage quality; and overall farm financial performance.

Speaking to Teagasc’s Pearse Kelly (in the video below) on the latest episode of [email protected], dedicated programme advisor, Sean Cummins, provided a detailed update on the farms’ progress to date in 2020, touching on areas such as: herd health; calf prices; silage quality; and weight targets.

As part of the discussion, Meath-based farmer Aidan Maguire spoke about the benefits he has achieved since joining the Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef Programme.

“The biggest change I made was probably dividing the place up into better paddocks, and also upgrading the housing facilities for rearing the calves.

“Feeding spaces have also been allocated for fattening cattle and cattle can now be fed meal in the pens,” he added.

The Meath man runs the dairy calf-to-beef enterprise on the holding in conjunction with a contracting business.

Prior to joining the programme, Aidan reared dairy calves and sold them as stores; however, all animals will be brought through to slaughter from now on.

He also noted that one of the biggest improvements he has made is in his grassland management practices.

“Getting cattle out early and keeping them a long time at grass has really improved weight gain going into the shed,” he said.