Dairy farmers told they have a responsibility to beef farmers to provide 'economically viable' genetics

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Catherine Hurley

Catherine Hurley

Dairy farmers have a responsibility to provide genetics to beef farmers that will enable them to ‘economically’ finish animals according to John Kehoe, beef farmer and Chairperson of the Beef Stakeholders Group, speaking at the National Beef Conference this week.

According to James, with the expanding dairy herd, 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 farm 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,” explained John, who chaired a discussion at the Teagasc conference.

He said that there are consequences on the expanding dairy herd that are falling back onto beef farmers and the price farmers 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, 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 dairy-beef 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 according to the study.

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