Sustainable cattle production systems showcased


The British Ambassador to Ireland, Paul Johnston joined the IFA President Tim Cullinan for a visit to the Teagasc Animal and Grassland, Research and Innovation centre, Grange, County Meath last week.

The purpose of the visit was to see the latest Teagasc research into sustainable pasture-based beef production systems and to explore the possibility of developing UK/Ireland collaboration in this area. The environmental measures being assessed as part of the beef production research programme in Grange were showcased and discussed.

Speaking of the visit, Dr Paul Crosson, Teagasc Beef Enterprise leader, said: “Of particular interest to the delegation was our new research programme into multi-species pastures. These pastures have a mix of ryegrass, clover and herb species in them. The aim is to reduce nitrogen use, because the clover is fixing atmospheric nitrogen and making it available in the soil for plant growth.

"The mixed species swards could also potentially increase drought tolerance, increase palatability and quality of the sward, and improve the health of cattle. Our trials are looking for evidence to support these potential benefits.”

The methane mitigation research programme at Teagasc Grange was also discussed during the visit. Professor David Kenny, Head of the Teagasc Animal and Bioscience Research Department summarised the many ongoing and planned research projects where Teagasc scientists are utilising state of the art technology to examine the potential of a suite of measures to reduce methane production from cattle enterprises.

The group also reviewed the cattle from the suckler beef and dairy beef systems trials at Grange.