August 3, 2022
Better genetics could significantly cut emissions of Ireland's beef cattle, according to research
Results from a collaborative research project have shown that significant reduction in the emissions of Ireland's beef cattle is achievable by improving genetics in the beef herd with emission reduction of up to 13% possible.
The project was conducted between ABP, Teagasc and ICBF. Its findings have the potential to play a significant role in helping Ireland's agriculture sector reach the targets set out under the Climate Act and are applicable across different beef production systems.
The research has been conducted on ABP's Demonstration Farm and is based on six years of data and involves over 4,000 animals.
The output from the research is already being shared with farmers across the country through the ICBF data base with over 233,000 calves born and reared on Irish farms bred from beef bulls from the programme.
Improved genetics allows the animals to grow faster through better feed conversion and as a result, they are ready for market at a younger age reducing emissions significantly.
Irish Minister of State with responsibility for research and innovation Martin Heydon said: "Irish grass-based beef systems are among the most sustainable production models in the world. The work of our farmers, coupled with collaboration from industry partners like ABP, Teagasc, and ICBF will be central to strengthening Ireland's position as a world leader in beef production.
"As demonstrated on this farm, adoption of cutting-edge research and technologies can deliver for both emissions reductions and farmers' bottom lines."
- Leitrim Observer