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HomeBeefDairy calf-to-beef farmers need €4.95/kg to cover costs
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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Dairy calf-to-beef farmers need €4.95/kg to cover costs

Dairy calf-to-beef farmers will require €4.95/kg to cover all production costs this year, Teagasc’s analysis shows.

That is the figure it presented at its recent national beef open day, which explored supporting sustainable beef farming.

It collated the data based on costs from the Teagasc Green Acres dairy calf-to-beef demonstration farms 2021 Profit Monitor data. It used these farms as a “baseline” for comparison purposes for the dairy calf-to-beef systems.

To note, its twelve farms encompass a wide range of scale, land type, stocking intensity and calf-to-beef systems.

These include 24- to 30-month spring-born steer and heifer systems, 19-month bull systems and autumn-born steer systems.

According to the state agency, the average farm size is 52 hectares (ha). The average stocking rate is 2.3 livestock units (LU)/ha and live weight output of 608 kg/LU.

Within this group, there is a range of farm sizes from 24 ha to 92 ha. Furthermore, Teagasc reported that profitability varied from €51/ha-€1,342/ha net profit excluding direct payments.

The state agency reported that production costs have increased by 37%, in 2022 compared to 2021.

Price hikes included:

  • Fertiliser: +150%;
  • Purchased feed: +53%);
  • Agricultural contractor charges (+25%).

Furthermore, it acknowledged that given the wide range of production systems Green Acres farmers operate, the impact of increased costs will differ “markedly” from farm to farm.

Dairy calf-to-beef farmers

A spokesperson for the state agency said:

“The spring steer 24-month finishing and bull beef systems are quite exposed to large cost rises in meal and fertiliser.”

“In contrast, farms where a large proportion of cattle are slaughtered off grass, or where indoor feeding periods are short, are likely to have lower increases in production costs.”

Source: Teagasc

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