With uncertainty around the long-term future for direct payments, production efficiency on beef farms will be crucial if profit is to be made, Dr Francis Lively from AFBI told attendees at a webinar last Thursday.

During the event, which was looking at the future of beef production to 2030, Lively acknowledged that some improvements have been seen in recent years, with the average age at slaughter for steers and heifers dropping to 24.1 months.