For every month’s reduction in the slaughter age of beef cattle, there is a potential emissions saving of 250kgCO2e/head.

That’s equivalent to 3.6% of the total emissions from the average prime animal slaughtered in Ireland, according to Teagasc research.Grange enterprise leader, Paul Crosson, told the Teagasc virtual beef conference that reducing slaughter age was just one method to reduce emissions from Irish beef production systems.

Crosson stressed that how this younger slaughter age is achieved needs to be carefully considered, as if carcase weight is reduced or, where a similar carcase weight is achieved due to an increased level of concentrate feeding, it would result in no emissions saving and in some cases, lead to a higher level of emissions per kilo of beef.