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Record 32,000 Farmers in Suckler Scheme

13 January 2009

IRELAND - Over 32,000 beef farmers have participated in the Teagasc training sessions required for the suckler cow animal welfare scheme.

Teagasc provided over 200 training sessions for producers who have applied for the €80 per head payment under the Animal Welfare, Recording and Breeding Scheme which is administered by the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.


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"The increased participation in animal events recording is a direct result of the Animal Welfare"
Teagasc drystock programme manager, Bernard Smyth

These training sessions, which are compulsory for producers participating in the scheme, were provided countrywide by the Teagasc advisory service at marts and other centres. Over 46,000 farmers of the 55,000 registered participants in the scheme were invited to a Teagasc event over the last three months. In some individual Teagasc units up to 85 per cent of the farmers invited participated and further sessions are currently taking place for those who were unable to attend at the time.

Speaking after the autumn/winter series of training sessions, Teagasc beef specialist Pearse Kelly said that the scheme provides important income support for suckler farmers. The training helps producers to improve herd health and assists farmers to produce quality beef in a profitable and animal welfare friendly way. We are delighted with the positive response from farmers. In some counties in excess of 80 per cent of all the farmers in the scheme completed the Teagasc training.

Teagasc drystock programme manager, Bernard Smyth said: “The increased participation in animal events recording is a direct result of the Animal Welfare, Recording and Breeding Scheme and will ensure much faster breed improvement in the beef herd in future and improve reliability of breeding values.”

In 2008, there was an increase of over 500,000 calving performance records as well as more than 400,000 new docility and calf performance data for beef weanlings. Additional information on mart weights and slaughter weights and grades will continue to flow into the system which is essential data to help rank the breeding merit of our beef herd.

Bernard Smyth concluding said that it is imperative in 2009 and later years to continue the high level of participation in the scheme if farmers are to reap the maximum benefits from improved breeding.

TheCattleSite News Desk



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