An Overview of Suckler Farming in Ireland Today

Posted in Category(ies):  Beef

National Reproductive Figures for the Suckler herd

  • Average age at 1st calving =32 months
  • < 20% cows calve within 12 months
  • Average calving interval >400 days
  • Producing 0.79 calves/yr (all cows)
 
Teagasc Profit Monitor Suckler to Beef
 
Teagasc Profit Monitor Suckler to Beef

Source: Teagasc Advisory Service (2014) *Average farm – 96LU & Top 1/3 121 LU

 
Teagasc Profit Monitor Suckler to Weanling
 
Teagasc Profit Monitor Suckler to Weanling

Source: Teagasc Advisory Service (2014) *Average farm – 54LU & Top 1/3 68LU

 
Consquences of Poor Production:
  • Unproductive cows
  • Un-even calf crop
  • Pro-longed calving season
  • Poor utilisation of grass
  • Inefficient labour use
  • Poor profitability
  • No plan for quality replacements
  • Only 17% of heifers calving 22-26 months 
 

A 5 Star Cow

Tommy Wickham's Super 5 Star Replacement - €221 - Cow by Nesquick - NSQ out of a Annally Leo - Alo Cow (SH), with a calf by Ross Alo - AZL. A finalist in the "Beef Herdplus Suckler Cow Comp"

  • Born: 9/3/09
  • 1st Calf: 9/3/11
  • 2nd Calf: 23/3/12
  • 3rd Calf: 6/2/13 (pictured with cow below)
  • 4th Calf: 30/1/12
 
Tommy Wickham's 5 Star Replacement - €221 - Cow by Nisquick - NSQ
 
How can a farmer improve production on farm:
 
Set Targets: 90% calved in
  • Use AI to increase genetic merit of herd
  • 24 months calving:
    • Lifetime output of the cow is increased
    • Use easy calving proven bulls
  • Plan for quality replacements – use the Maternal Index
  • Synchronised programmes allow for compact calving
  • Use heat detection aids if neccessary 

There will be more posts on these topics soon. 

 
Posted on Thursday, 20 November 2014  |  By Progressive Genetics
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