Norwegian beef farmers getting €7.50/kg but as always there's a catch
I recently hosted a Norwegian beef producer group on their visit to study the Irish beef industry. The primary purpose of their visit was to study our cattle housing designs, construction techniques and learn about the various breeding, growing and finishing methods used on Irish beef farms.
Coming from a country that has a heavily subsidised agricultural sector, they were amazed at the differential between Irish and Norwegian beef prices.
As a country that imports the vast majority of their beef, market premiums are paid for home-reared and finished beef. For an R3 type bull they are currently receiving in excess of €7.50/kg.
There is no restriction on carcass weight and 1+ fat scores are desirable.
The only negative for the Norwegian farmers is that construction costs are almost three times higher than they are here.
Having visited Norway on a few occasions, I noticed that forage quality is an area in need of attention. Due to their long and extreme winter, they get rapid grass growth in early summer and if harvesting is delayed, forage quality deteriorates.
The main observation by the group that visited us was that one reason why their construction costs are so high is that their cattle housing is designed with human comfort in mind and animal benefit coming second.
Their typical housing is aesthetically pleasing but this design is generally at the expense of good ventilation.