Beef 2018 was launched last week at Teagasc, Grange, Co Meath. The theme of this year's event is "€nhancing technologies". While sentiment in the sector is quite good at the moment with beef prices buoyant, there are a number of significant challenges to the sector around Brexit, CAP reforms and climate change. The challenge of achieving a profitable business while dealing with reduced support payments will also be discussed.
Listen to "Aidan Murray from Teagasc on BEEF 2018" on Spreaker
One of the new additions to this year's event is the infrastructure village which will demonstrate the design and management of a grazing system that will include roadway construction demos, fencing demos, water system demos and grazing demos. The four main technical stands on the day will cover "suckler calf to beef", "dairy calf to beef", "reproduction and health" and "high performance from pasture". Nine themed villages from education to the Teagasc/Irish Farmers Journal BETTER farm beef challenge will be positioned at the end of the technical stands so people can pick and choose what topics they want to discuss further with the Teagasc specialists.
Demonstrations will take place during the day in all villages with a livestock demonstration taking place at the end of the villages. This demo will be coordinated by Teagasc, the Irish Farmers Journal and ICBF and will look at selecting replacement heifers and calving at two years old. These live demos will take place at 11.30am,12.30pm,1.30pm and 2.30pm. Well-known chef Kevin Dundon will give a cooking demonstration using beef recipes near the farmers' forum marquee.
A panel discussion will take place with three farmers and Phelim O Neill, markets specialist with the Irish Farmers Journal, chaired by well-known TV celebrity, Richard Curran from RTE.
Speaking at the launch of the open day in Teagasc Grange today, Professor Gerry Boyle, director of Teagasc, said: “The beef sector is among the most important Irish indigenous industries. Total production increased by 4.5% to 615,000t in 2017. Beef exports in 2017 were worth €2.5b, representing a 65% increase in value compared to 2010. BEEF 2018 will be a day not to be missed by anyone with an interest in the Irish beef industry.”