A PLEA FOR more money to be put into farmyard research aimed at reducing production costs and raising cattle values has been made by the National Beef Association.

NBA policy adviser Kim-Marie Haywood said suckled calf breeders urgently needed to adopt easier-care, extensive systems which were more productive and required lower inputs.

Feeders also needed to re-examine the basic principles of finishing cattle and take on board new management plans aimed at reducing costs.

“The depth of these challenges makes it obvious that the UK‘s scientific community must reconsider basic farmyard research priorities,” she said.

Organisations must co-operate to put together a coherent approach and develop tactics designed with grass-roots farm management improvement in mind, she added.

The NBA has already warned of the dangers facing the livestock sector if internationally recognised research institutes have to shut down, or shed staff, because of underfunding.

“Strategic research is fundamental for the long term sustainability of the UK cattle industry,” said Ms Haywood.

“To encourage its adoption we have contacted key research personnel and levy funded bodies and offered suggestions to stimulate discussion.”

“A core feature of our argument is the importance of a joined up approach to common problems and the creation of a national budget for nominated research goals.”