Know How / Beef / Assessing performance

Whether running suckler cows or finishing stores, collecting and using health, growth and margin data is vital for steering your enterprise in the future.

Read about the crucial fertility and cow efficiency goals for suckler herds and how to get the most of your growing cattle, whether it be on grass, forage or cereal.

Are your cows to big? What is your cost of production per kg of beef produced? Read on to find out more.

Case studies

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ASSESSING PERFORMANCE

How beef finishers have improved health and cattle weight gain

Productivity and efficiency are core principles of running a profitable beef enterprise, but with so many influential factors it can be a challenge to know what to target. Mixed beef…

ASSESSING PERFORMANCE

AHDB chair shares his low cost suckler and sheep systems

Simple and low-cost farming is the mantra of Warwickshire sheep and beef farmer Adam Quinney, the AHDB Beef & Lamb chair, who is seeing gross margins of £450/ha on cattle…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Beef farm targets five herd KPIs to help cut costs

Grassland management and genetics are key focus areas for tenant farmer Guy Prudom, who wishes to reduce his cost of production/kg of liveweight from 328p/kg to 250p/kg.  Mr Prudom runs…

LIVESTOCK

How a farmer used EBVs to increase profit a cow by £360

Cambridgeshire beef farmer Dan Burling says estimated breeding values (EBVs) have directly contributed to lifting his herd profitability by more than £360 a cow a year. Mr Burling switched from…

BEEF

How a beef farmer has shaved 90 days off finishing time

At Old Hall Farm, near Melton Mowbray, beef finisher Andrew Bowley has reduced finishing time by 90 days and eliminated pneumonia problems by installing fans. The first batch of calves…

LIVESTOCK

How Ireland's five-star cows are improving beef performance

Using a five-star rated system to assess herd performance is increasing a Simmental herd’s profitability and efficiency.  Clonakilty farmer Tommy Moyles has increased his herd size 60% by selecting easy-calving cows…

Practical advice

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FEED AND NUTRITION

Replacing cereals with forage can increase beef gross margin

Replacing some cereals in the diet with a high energy forage for finishing beef steers can increase daily liveweight gain and increase gross margin by £115 a head. Researchers at…

BEEF

6 ways to reduce suckler herd costs

Beef production is worth nearly £2.76bn to the UK economy but making a profit without subsidies is a challenge on some commercial systems. In Wales, figures from the most recent…

LIVESTOCK

5 ways to lift suckler herd performance

The final workshop in Farmers Weekly's Rethinking Cattle Performance series saw farmers visit the Anderson family's suckler herd in Ballymoney, Northern Ireland. Health, hygiene and nutrition can all have a…

Insights

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LIVESTOCK

Beef sire worth up to €200 more in dairy-cross calf profit

Selecting the right beef bull on terminal traits could benefit Irish beef farm margins by €150-€200 a head in carcass quality and feed efficiency, according to a national initiative. Industry…

LIVESTOCK

Selecting for feed efficiency could raise beef profits 39%

Including feed efficiency in the genetic selection indices of beef cattle has the potential to increase farm-level profit by 39% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 22%. Preliminary results…

LIVESTOCK

Finishing bulls v steers: Which is best for your farm?

Bulls produce higher liveweight gains, heavier carcass weights and achieve better financial returns than steers, a study has shown.  The research, carried out by Harper Adams University, Shropshire, used Holstein…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Finishing performance of terminal sires compared

Calves sired by bulls with higher terminal indices record heavier carcass weights resulting in returns worth an additional £45/animal when compared to progeny of bulls with lower genetic merit. Harper…