The seminar, held on January 18, 2024 in Portlaoise, included two panel sessions featuring farmers on actions at farm level and agencies and industry representatives on what they can do to assist farmers in this area.
The event took place as part of the implementation of the actions agreed by stakeholders in Food Vision 2030 to develop and support dairy-beef systems.
Ahead of launching the consultation, the minister of agriculture, food and the marine Charlie McConalogue said: “I remain very committed to the suckler beef sector, as can be seen by the provision of additional funding through Budget 2024 targeted at the sector in addition to the substantial supports already in place through the CAP Strategic Plan.
“This initiative is designed to sit alongside that support in ensuring that livestock farmers have as many options as possible, and continue to develop in a sustainable manner. It can and should work for both dairy and beef sectors and we’re keen to hear the views of both.”
The 10-point action plan highlights the importance of dairy farmers breeding better quality stock through the use of sexed semen and the dairy beef index and beef farmers sourcing calves based on the Commercial Beef Value (CBV).
Professor Frank O’Mara, Teagasc director, added: “Greater integration between dairy and beef farmers to further develop successful dairy calf to beef systems is needed. This ten point action plan, being prepared in consultation with the dairy and beef sectors, will emphasise the importance of dairy farmers breeding better quality stock, through the use of sexed semen and the Dairy Beef Index (DBI), and beef farmers sourcing calves based on the Commercial Beef Value (CBV).
“Our Calf Care events, currently taking place with AHI, Dairy processors and DairyBeef 500, are highlighting the need for adequate colostrum to be received by all calves born on farms, to ensure healthy stock for further rearing.”