Carcase weight and quality were hot topics of discussion at the Thrive open day which took place on the Irish Farmers Journal’s dairy calf-to-beef demonstration farm in Cashel, Co Tipperary, this week.

While the rate of decline in carcase quality may have levelled off, it still remains a big issue for beef farmers finishing dairy beef animals on their farms. Andrew Cromie of the ICBF said: “The continuing drop in dairy-beef slaughter performance seen over the past decade has stalled. This stabilisation of carcase performance could be partly attributed to AI stations having largely cleared pots out of short-gestation, easy-calving bulls with poorer slaughter traits.”

Commenting in the forum on the issue of lighter carcases from dairy beef animals, Paul Nolan of Dawn Meats said: “Those very light carcases are presenting a problem for processors and for our premium markets we need to be looking at a carcase of between 350-380kg.”