Report Synopsis

Efficient, Sustainable Beef Production using Dairy Bred Animals

Joe Burke

This report investigates the potential to add greater value to calves from the dairy herd to produce quality prime beef. Driven by the recent abolition of EU milk quotas, the Irish dairy herd has grown by more than 200,000 head to over 1.4 million cows over the three year period to June 2016. Notwithstanding recent market volatility, further growth is anticipated over the coming years. Many Irish dairy farms that previously reared their surplus calves are likely to sell them. These supply developments present opportunities for Irish beef farmers and the wider industry.

The key objectives of this report are:

  1. To examine the production systems used to produce beef from dairy-bred animals in Ireland and other major producing countries
  2. To analyse current market outlets for Irish beef and livestock, their requirements and how these are likely to evolve in the future
  3. To investigate further the relationship between efficiency and environmental sustainability in dairy calf to beef production systems

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