Beefing up profits
More efficient grazing management can deliver big results on finishing cattle
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.
“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.
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.