‘Onus on dairying to provide economically viable genetics’
DAIRY farmers have a responsibility to provide genetics to beef farmers that will enable them to ‘economically’ finish animals, according to John Kehoe, chairperson of the Beef Stakeholders Group, speaking at the National Beef Conference last week.
With the expanding dairy herd, he said, dairy farmers need to introduce genetics into stock intended for beef production that can provide a sustainable future for beef farmers.
“I’m a beef farmer and I believe there is an onus on the dairy farmer — and a responsibility — to give us genetics that we can economically bring to beef,” Mr Kehoe said.
He said there are consequences on the expanding dairy herd that are falling back onto beef farmers and the price they are getting for their animals.
“We must demand it, we must get better genetics from the dairy herd. That is where we will make our greatest money, is with the use of genetics.
“The problem will arise, with a further expanding dairy herd that we can’t economically or don’t have the genetics to economically bring to beef,” he said, adding that beef farmers “are going down a road we don’t want to go”.
This was in light of the new proposed Dairy-Beef Index presented by Dr Donagh Berry, of Teagasc in Tullamore at the conference, to rank beef bulls on profitability when mated to a dairy cow, based on research and yet to be approved.
The proposed dairybeef index ranks beef bulls for use on dairy cows based on their estimated genetic potential to produce profitable, high-quality cattle, born with minimal repercussions on subsequent performance of the dairy dam.