Speaking to farmers around the country, it’s been a pretty successful 2021 calving season, with calving going well on both beef and dairy farms.

The weather hasn’t been too bad in many parts of the country and stock have been turned out without too many upsets to grazing plans.

A kind spring can work wonders for body condition score, an important predetermining factor for a successful grazing season.

Grass shortages across the country at the moment could have an effect on this so it’s important that corrective action is taken and cows are fed to full appetite in advance of breeding.

Staying switched on for the next six weeks is important. There is a risk that when cattle get out there will be concentration lapses and, on drystock farms in particular, a bull is let out and that’s it.

We hear of disaster stories every year where stock bulls stop working unbeknownst to the farmer. Recording heats is a simple way of keeping on top of this and identifying problems early in the season.

Aidan Brennan outlines some top tips to ensure the 2021 breeding season is a success.

For drystock farmers, a high percentage of income comes from schemes and programmes and we take a look at three important schemes – the Beef Data and Genomics Programme (BDGP), the Beef Environmental and Efficiency Programme- Sucklers (BEEP-S) and the new dairy calf to beef weighing scheme. We outline the schemes and top tips on banking your 2021 payment.

This week sees the publication of our special THRIVE programme supplement on dairy-calf-to-beef systems. It covers a wide range of topics on dairy-calf-to-beef production including some of the challenges from a beef farmer’s point of view and a dairy farmer’s point of view.

Also in this week’s focus, we take a look at progress being made in dairy-beef slaughter data and whether enough progress has been made over the last 10 years.