12 September 2022
By Tom Collins
Members from the Cork Chapter of Macra na Feirme recently visited ABP’s Demonstration Farm in Clonegal, Co. Carlow to receive a briefing on results from a collaborative research project between ABP, Teagasc and ICBF. The briefing was attended by national and regional representatives of Macra na Feirme.
The research has shown that significant reduction in Irish beef cattle emissions is achievable by improving genetics in the beef herd with emission reduction of up to 13% possible. The research has also led to improved returns for farmers of up to €200 per animal. The findings have the potential to play a significant role in helping Ireland’s agriculture sector reach the targets set out under the Climate Act and are applicable across different beef production systems.
Gillian Richardson, Macra Agricultural Skillnet Network Manager at Macra na Feirme said: “On behalf of Macra na Feirme, I would like to thank ABP, Teagasc and the ICBF for the invitation to ABP’s Demonstration Farm and the insightful briefing on their latest research findings in the area of cattle emissions. Farming is a key area of interest for many Macra members, so we are always excited to learn about the latest innovations in the field, particularly when they can lead to potential reductions in emissions and improvements to farmers’ bottom lines, as is the case with this research.”
The research has been conducted on ABP’s Demonstration Farm and is based on six years of data and involves over 4,000 animals. The output from the research is already being shared with farmers across the country through the ICBF data base with over 233,000 calves born and reared on Irish farms bred from beef bulls from the programme. Improved genetics allows the animals to grow faster through better feed conversion and as a result they are ready for market at a younger age reducing emissions significantly.