09 Aug 2022

Research shows Irish beef cattle emissions can be reduced by improving genetics in herd

Research shows Irish beef cattle emissions can be reduced by improving genetics in herd

PIC: Fennell Photography

RESULTS from a collaborative research project between ABP, Teagasc and ICBF have shown that significant reduction in Irish beef cattle emissions is achievable by improving genetics in the beef herd with emission reduction of up to 13% possible.

The research has also led to improved returns for farmers of up to €200 per animal.

The 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.

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."

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