Beef­ing up prof­its

More ef­fi­cient graz­ing man­age­ment can de­liver big re­sults on fin­ish­ing cat­tle

Irish Independent - Farming - - BEEF - MARTIN RYAN

SHORT­EN­ING the du­ra­tion on pad­docks and in­creas­ing the num­ber of graz­ings per an­num can sig­nif­i­cantly boost prof­its on fin­ish­ing beef cat­tle on the ma­jor­ity of farms.

That was the key mes­sage of the day from Pearse Kelly, Tea­gasc dry­s­tock ad­vi­sor, at the Tea­gasc suck­ler and beef event in Kil­dal­ton Col­lege, Co Kilkenny.

Farm­ers should aim for 10 graz­ings from each pad­dock in the sea­son — close to dou­ble the norm on many beef units, ac­cord­ing to Mr Kelly, who de­liv­ered a joint pre­sen­ta­tion with Terry Car­roll, Tea­gasc busi­ness and tech­nol­ogy ad­vi­sor.

“If you can work to move the stock on af­ter three days and hope to get back again in three weeks there is some hope of achiev­ing at least eight graz­ings in the sea­son, what­ever about the tar­get of 10,” said Mr Kelly.

“At least it will bring some farms up by two graz­ings from the six that some of them are at cur­rently.

Re­growth

“Graze in­ten­sively, move on, al­low for re­growth and that cy­cle of man­age­ment should get you im­proved re­turn.

“A third of an in­crease would be a mas­sive im­prove­ment in per­for­mance in beef pro­duc­tion.”

The Tea­gasc ad­vi­sors sug­gested an early April tar­get date for get­ting stock out to pas­ture and con­tin­u­ing the graz­ing sea­son close to the end of Oc­to­ber.

This can help de­liver 10 graz­ings at three week in­ter­vals on each pad­dock.

PHOTO: O’GOR­MAN PHO­TOG­RA­PHY.

Mead­hbh Fre­aney from Tea­gasc Clon­mel; vet Tommy Hef­fer­nan; Joe Hand, Tea­gasc Thurles and Terry Car­roll, Tea­gasc Kilkenny, at the suck­ler and beef event in Kil­dal­ton Agri­cu­tu­ral Col­lege.

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