Industry must be more efficient
6th November 2015
Region: Northern Ireland
The beef industry must follow the example shown by the pig and poultry sectors in terms of becoming more efficient, according to AFBI’s Dr Francis Lively.
“This is why the Beef Strategy 2020, which is the backdrop for the upcoming Pedigree Calf Fair @ Beef NI Expo, is so important,” he said.
Dr Francis Lively will be one of the six speakers taking part in the seminars planned for the November 14th event, taking place at the RUAS Balmoral Showgrounds in Belfast.
A senior beef researcher with AFBI, Dr Francis Lively will outline how the beef research and development programme at AFBI will support a more sustainable and profitable industry for 2020 through improved production efficiency at the farm gate.
“Northern Ireland’s pedigree beef producers have a sound track record of producing high quality breeding animals. However, industry data obtained from the AFBI designed Bovine Information System (BovIS) clearly indicates that there is huge variation in performance of beef cattle produced and finished in Northern Ireland, with low lifetime performance being a major problem on many farms.”
Dr Lively continued: ”AFBI’s research has shown that management of genetics, nutrition and health is critical to optimise animal performance in a cost-effective manner.
“Our vision for 2020 is that beef producers adopt management systems that consistently produce cattle with carcass attributes that fully meet market specifications. AFBI research and services will be vital in achieving this strategy.”
Event sponsor Paul Elwood, from HVS Animal Health in Downpatrick, will be another of the seminar speakers.
“The suckler cow produces one calf per year, so it is important that her calving interval is as close to 365 days as possible.
“It is also critical, from a performance point of view, that the calf gets the best possible start. Making sure that animals receive the correct balance of minerals and trace elements at those important times of the year is vital.”
Mr Elwood continued: “In the case of the cow these are during the dry period and the run up to the breeding season. Calves will also need an effective mineral boost pre-weaning and pre-housing.
“I will be using the upcoming seminars to outline how our Liquid Gold chelated mineral range is playing a key role in making these targets achievable on an increasing number of local beef farms.”