Beef Webinar Series 2021: Solutions to deliver sustainable beef production

Date published: 13 May 2021

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AFBI, CAFRE, LMC, NIMEA, NBA and UFU have joined forces to deliver a series of beef webinars with a focus on sustainable beef farming for the future.

The four webinars are specifically tailored for farmers and will focus on solutions that can be employed to further increase the sustainability of the beef industry in Northern Ireland.

Speakers will include farmers, industry representatives, researchers and advisers and the webinars will provide important messages for all involved in the local beef industry.

The first webinar, entitled ‘Grass – your best asset’ was held on Thursday 20 May with over 300 delegates logging in.  It was chaired by David Wright, Northern Editor of the Irish Farmers Journal, and highlighted how the results of recent research can be implemented at a farm level to deliver sustainable levels of beef production from grass. 

AFBI’s soil, agronomy and sustainable livestock production scientists outlined how nutrients can be best utilised within the farm gate to produce beef in a cost effective and environmentally friendly manner.

Dr Suzanne Higgins outlined the optimal soil conditions for growing grass on beef farms and indicated how to best manage nutrients to ensure the maximum uptake of nutrients by the plant while minimising the loss of nutrients to the environment.

Dr David Patterson discussed how clover can be introduced to beef production systems to replace the requirement for chemical nitrogen applications. David highlighted important tips on how to ensure clover is retained in the sward.

Dr Francis Lively then presented results from a recent project that aimed to maximize beef production from grass.  Francis indicated measures that can be taken to reduce the concentrate requirement on beef farms through maximising the days at grass and feeding high quality silage during the indoor periods.      

The webinar concluded with a presentation from CAFRE’s Ciaran Hamill and Kilkeel farmer James Henderson.  They indicated how James has adopted science within his beef enterprise to ensure the farm is productive whilst minimising its environmental footprint.  James indicated how he manages his grassland to achieve high grass utilisation and livestock performance.  James also outlined the steps he has taken to reduce his concentrate usage; whilst at the same time reducing the slaughter age of his animals.

A recording of the webinar is now available:

The next Webinar entitled "Resilience within beef production systems" will take place on 17 June at 8pm, registration is now open.

To attend please register via the UFU website:  

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