Teagasc Launch New Suckler Beef Research Farm

IRELAND - Teagasc announce the establishment of a new suckler beef research demonstration farm at its Beef Research Centre in Grange, County Meath.
calendar icon 28 May 2009
clock icon 2 minute read

The unit is a ‘stand-alone’ 120 cow spring-calving suckler unit, and is being set up to demonstrate the most innovative technologies in beef production to improve productivity and profit levels on Irish farms. This is a new initiative, the main aim of which is to transfer knowledge out onto a greater number of beef farms.

Speaking at the launch, Teagasc Director, Professor Gerry Boyle, said that transferring knowledge to farmers and other stakeholders is one of the highest priorities for the organisation. All units have been challenged to come up with new and more innovative ways to transfer technology onto farms. The new initiatives being launched here in Grange today are good examples of Teagasc responding to the changing needs of Irish farmers. As part of its change programme, Teagasc has established an animal production and grassland research programme which brings together the organisation’s activities from a number of centers across a range of ruminant enterprises to lever the knowledge-base within the organisation.

Dr Mark McGee, Project Leader, said the aim of the project is to establish a profitable suckler herd finishing beef animals and which will demonstrate how the results of research can be put into practice. He continued saying: “The unit will demonstrate how to use grassland and animal production technologies in efficient and profitable beef systems”. It will be used as a benchmark for suckler beef production and will be an important part of the new drive in Teagasc to improve the transfer of technology out onto farms from research.

The new herd consists of four cow breed combinations. The continental cross cows will have a suckler beef value (SBV) which represents the top 5-10% of the national beef cow herd. According to Dr William Minchin, Research Manager of the new unit, the results from this new herd will be applicable to a wide farmer audience

A new dedicated website http://www.agresearch.teagasc.ie/grange for the Grange Beef Research Centre is also being launched today. Dr Edward O Riordan, Head of Centre, said the new website has gone live and will provide weekly updates online from the new suckler demonstration research farm and from other ongoing research projects. He said the website will aid the information flow to beef producers, especially the information on the various research farms within Grange, which will be valuable to farmers and agriculturalists. He said: “Weekly updates are being provided on many practical aspects of running beef farms, with particular emphasis on experimental results on grassland management and animal performance. Weekly reports on grass growth, pasture supply and grazing conditions will be a feature of the new site and animal performance updates will be regularly provided.”

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