Teagasc director Prof Frank O’Mara was adamant no cut to the national herd is needed to meet Ireland’s climate change targets at the Teagasc beef conference on Monday.

“While there has been a lot of talk around cutting the national herd in recent weeks and months, Teagasc are of the firm belief that a lot of what is needed from the industry can come from technology adoption on farms and efficiency gains without the need to cut the national herd,” he said.

Prof O’Mara identified areas such as breeding, grassland management, changes in fertiliser use and slurry spreading, earlier slaughter age, and feed additives as all having a big role to play in meeting targets.

Chris Daly of the ICBF also outlined a new genetic index called the Commercial Beef Index (CBV), designed to help farmers trading cattle in predicting the performance of animals. The index is available on all dairy bull calves, suckler animals and dairy beef animals. It is available to view on ICBF online reports and will be on mart ring display boards early in 2022.