Beef industry must become more efficient

Discussing the seminars planned for the upcoming Beef NI Expo and Pedigree Calf Fair: Paul Elwood,HVS Animal Health; David Connolly, event organiser and Dr Francis Lively, AFBI
Discussing the seminars planned for the upcoming Beef NI Expo and Pedigree Calf Fair: Paul Elwood,HVS Animal Health; David Connolly, event organiser and Dr Francis Lively, AFBI

The beef industry must follow the example shown by the pig and poultry sectors in terms of becoming more efficient, according to AFBI’s Dr Francis Lively.

“This is why the Beef Strategy 2020, which is the backdrop for the upcoming Beef NI Expo and Pedigree Calf Fair, is so important,” he said.

“And it’s a strategy that must encompass the breeding, nutrition and health needs of the industry as a whole.”

Francis Lively will be one of the six speakers taking part in the seminars planned for the November 14th event, taking place at the Balmoral Showgrounds in Belfast.

“Local pedigree breeders are amongst the best in the world,” he said.

“These exemplary standards are reflected in the prices paid for pedigree animals bred here in Northern Ireland. But we must ensure that all of this tremendous breeding and management expertise is effectively communicated back down the line to commercial producers.”

Paul Elwood, from HVS Animal Health, will be another of the seminar speakers.

“The suckler cow produces one calf per year,” he confirmed.

“So it’s important that her calving interval is as close to 365 days as possible. It is also critical, from a performance point of view, that her calf gets the best possible start. Making sure that animals receive the correct balance of minerals and trace elements at those important times of the year is vital.

“In the case of the cow these are during the dry period and the run up to the breeding season. Calves will also need an effective mineral boost pre weaning and pre housing.

“I will be using the upcoming seminars to explain how our Liquid Gold chelated mineral range is playing a key role in making these targets achievable on an increasing number of local beef farms.”