Suckler herds can reduce emissions by 10pc if they focus on producing more carbon efficient cows - ICBF
Suckler herds can reduce their Greenhouse Gas emissions by 10pc over the next 20 years if they use genetics to produce profitable and carbon efficient cows.
ICBF’s Dr Andrew Cromie told farmers and delegates at the organisation's beef conference in Athlone that instead of being blamed, all farmers can play a part and produce carbon efficient as well as profitable animals if they focus on implementing the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP) in their herds.
“There is an opportunity to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions by 10pc over the next 20 years within the suckler beef industry. It doesn’t sound like much but if everyone does their small part, we can be more profitable and have more carbon efficient cows too,”said Dr Cromie.
“If we have the right traits we can select cows that are lower in emissions and this is important to move to the 10pc target.”
Dr Cromie said that that there is an opportunity to produce less heavier animals that produce less methane that intake the same amount of feed and if Irish farmers could achieve this it would be "win-win for farmers and the environment".
Dr Cromie pointed out that to achieve this it will be key to positively engage bull breeders to ensure these carbon friendly traits are passed down to progeny.
“It will be crucial to engage with farmers and bull breeders. We need bull breeders at the top of the pyramid generating genes that go down in to the suckler herd. Unless we have bull breeders engaged then we will fail,” he said.
“We have a model here that has collective stakeholders. We need to work closely with breeders to help identify top breeds that help to move the industry in the right direction.”