The significant rise in input costs facing beef farmers will be central to advice delivered to farmers at Teagasc’s Beef 2022 Open Day on 5 July, with the event to be informed by a silage availability survey conducted by Teagasc next month.
“Obviously, the big challenge at the moment is the big rise we have seen in the price of inputs, particularly fertiliser but also fuel and feed costs,” said Teagasc director Professor Frank O’Mara to the Irish Farmers Journal.
“We will be doing a survey of farmers to figure out how much [silage] stock they carried over from last winter and how much silage has been made in the first cut,” he said.
On the breakdown between suckler and dairy-beef elements of the open day, O’Mara commented that both would be covered extensively and that a lot of information covered would be applicable to both sectors. “It’s not that one can be bigger or better than the other,” he said.
The big challenge at the moment is the big rise we have seen in the price of inputs, particularly fertiliser but also fuel and feed costs
The day will feature a stand on farm social sustainability, which is important given that the part-time nature of many Irish beef farms limits the labour available to run the system, said head of drystock knowledge transfer (KT), Pearse Kelly.
“The big thing on the social side is the work-life balance on a lot of beef farms, so that is one of the differences we are going to be looking at at the open day this year,” said Kelly.
“Matching the right system to the farm lifestyle is needed to ensure that beef farming suits your off-farm work and on-farm work,” Kelly explained.
He also said that many topics covered on the day, such as breeding and health, are equally as applicable to lower stocked farms as they are to those highly stocked.