Increased beef and milk production in Ireland. Paul Crosson

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1 Increased beef and milk production in Ireland Perspectives and challenges Paul Crosson Teagasc, Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Ireland End of Project Seminar Strategies in dairy and beef production Oslo, 19 March 2015

2 Outline Irish agriculture overview Targets and policies Perspectives and challenges for Irish cattle systems

3 rish Agriculture Overview

4 Irish economy Source: Irish Central Statistics Office

5 Agriculture s role in the Irish economy Agriculture accounts for ~30% of net foreign earnings from the Irish manufacturing economy. Source: Irish Dept Agr, Fisheries and the Marine; Central Stats Office

6 Ruminant-based agri-food sector % of gross output from agriculture Other, 15 Forestry, 14% Other, 2% Cereals, 5 Beef & Cattle, 35 Sheep, 3 Cereal, 15% Pigs, 8 Grassland, 69% Milk, 34 Source: Irish Dept Agr, Fisheries and the Marine; Central Stats Office

7 Self sufficiency % International Trade Ireland is primarily an exporting nation food & drink exports worth 10 bn in Optimise productivity of permanent pastures 800 so as to maximise export earnings from the production 600 of sustainable, high quality food Beef/veal Sheepmeat Cheese Butter

8 Location of farms Dairy farms Beef farms Source: O Donoghue et al., 2012

9 Farm size & income System Dairying Mixed Livestock Cattle Rearing Cattle Other Sheep Tillage Area farmed (ha) Of which rented (ha) Stocking rate (LU/ha) Gross margin ( ) 114,056 65,884 21,433 28,626 30,274 75,816 FFI ( ) 68,570 34,902 10,453 14,573 16,805 35,296 Source: Hennessy et al., 2012

10 Farm size & income System Dairying Mixed Livestock Cattle Rearing Cattle Other Sheep Tillage Area farmed (ha) Of which rented (ha) Stocking rate (LU/ha) Gross margin ( ) 114,056 65,884 21,433 28,626 30,274 75,816 FFI ( ) 68,570 34,902 10,453 14,573 16,805 35,296 Source: Hennessy et al., 2012

11 Production systems Pasture based production systems Spring-calving (Feb to April) Grazing 7 to 8 months Cost of feed production ( /t DM) Grazed grass Grass silage Maize silage (w ithout plastic) Whole crop w inter w heat Spring barley grain

12 Production systems Pasture production rate (kg DM/ha/day) Mean soil temperature ( o C) 0 2-Jan 2-Feb 2-Mar 2-Apr 2-May 2-Jun 2-Jul 2-Aug 2-Sep 2-Oct 2-Nov 2-Dec 0 Month Source: Black, 2009

13 Production systems Pasture based production systems Spring-calving (Feb to April) Grazing 7 to 8 months First calving at ~31 (26) months of age Steers finished at ~28 months of Cost of feed production ( /t DM) Grazed grass Grass silage Maize silage (w ithout plastic) Whole crop w inter w heat Spring barley grain age Heifers finished at ~24 months of age

14 Breeds Suckler beef cow breeds LM CH SI BB EM (HE&AA) Other 31% 23% 12% 21% 5% 8% Dairy cow breeds HO-FR MO RB JE Other 94% 3% 1% 1% 1%

15 Targets and Policies

16 Food Harvest 2020 Launched in 2010 government-led industry document Targets: Increase beef output value by 20% (40%) Increase milk production by 50% Increase sheepmeat output value by 20% Source: Irish Dept Agr, Fisheries and the Marine

17 CAP Reform 70,000 60,000 50,000 40,000 30,000 20,000 10,000 0 Dairy Suckler Cattle Sheep Tillage Mixed SFP FFI

18 Sustainability

19 Sustainability = Efficiency Teagasc approach Carbon Navigator Efficient use of resources = reduced losses + reduced cost Cost-effectiveness: which measures are most cost-effective? Research + Knowledge Transfer GHG Financal Key Measures 1.Grazing season first calving Research (medium-term): develop new solutions 3.Calving interval KT (now): Cost close beneficial the gap between Cost neutral the top Cost 4.Live 10% and prohibitive weight gain the rest 5.Nitrogen fertiliser 6.Manure management Set Targets Score performance out of 10 Potential GHG & Benefits Knowledge Transfer

20 Perspectives and Challenges

21 Government Agencies Research, education and extension Cattle breeding Animal health Selling dairy products Marketing Irish foods (incl. beef and sheepmeat)

22 Future of the cow herd? Milk Quota Suckler premia

23 Scale or efficiency Number of cows required to earn the national average industrial wage in Ireland Skill before scale!

24 Farm level efficiencies On average each tonne/ha of DM is worth 161/Ha 4,000 Net profit ( /ha) 3,500 3,000 2,500 2,000 1,500 1, y = x R 2 = Est. grass utilised (t DM/ha)

25 On farm efficiency Dairy Suckler beef Current Target Current Target Calving interval (days) Replacement rate (%) % of farms are suboptimal for ph, P & K Less than 5% of farmers are using best practice in grazing Calves/cow per year management Approx 2% of pastures are reseeded annually Herbage utilised (kg DM/ha) 7,300 13,200 4,700 10,500 Carcass/Milk solids (kg/cow)

26 Profitability & land uses Dairy production: most profitable but not all farmland is suitable; more intensive, environmental challenges per ha Beef/sheep: most widespread, lower profitability but high public goods value (aesthetic, socio-economic, environmental, etc.) Tillage (cereal): small percentage of land area suitable, low profitability, greening of CAP Forestry/bioenergy: poor uptake and competing policy objectives Source: O Donoghue et al., 2012

27 GHG national projections Agricultural GHG emissions (Mt CO2eq) Historic data FH Scenario 2005 level Decline in animal numbers Natural restructuring of national herd Maximum reduction potential using BAT -10% target -20% target -30% target Source:

28 GHG emissions new agenda

29 Can output be increased sustainably? 24.0 Burney et al. Foley (2010) et al. (2010) kg CO2e per kg milk 0.8 Basset-Mens 22.0 et al. (2009) kg CO2e/kg beef carcass 20.0 Burney et al. (2010); agricultural intensification has avoided emissions of 161 Gt of C since Can we afford not to intensify? Moderate Int N Int N & MS Level of Intensity Stocking rate (LU/ha)

30 Take home messages Agriculture plays a key role in the Irish economy Future profitability of the sector depends on policy, markets and farm-level innovation Dairy industry projected to expand post-quotas Industry targets (Food Harvest) significant increase in output smart, green, growth Sustainability of the sector critical sustainable intensification is now an EU policy objective

31 Go raibh maith agaibh Paul Crosson Animal & Grassland Research and Innovation Centre, Teagasc, Grange, Phone: Fax:

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