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Just under 17,000 HerdPlus Beef Output Reports are arriving on farms this week. The purpose of this report is to allow beef farmers, both suckler and drystock, to assess the output performance of their herds. Output is measured in kg of liveweight produced per year and there are the key performance indicators (KPI’s) in the report.

  1. Beef Output per Livestock Unit (LU)

This tells a farmer how much liveweight they are producing for every LU that they are carrying on their farm. The national average figure stands at 294 kg while those with an output figure of 315 kg or greater are in the top 1/3. A high output per LU figure generally indicates that animal performance is high within a herd.

  1. Beef Output per Hectare

This tells a farmer how much liveweight they are producing per hectare. This figure will only be calculated for herds that have recorded land area in the ICBF database in the past. The national average here stands at 455 kg. Herds greater than 487 kg per hectare are in the top 1/3. High output per hectare generally indicates a high stocking rate.

  1. Stocking rate per Hectare

Like output per hectare, stocking rate can only be calculated for herds that have recorded their land area. Stocking rate is a concept that most farmers are very familiar with. The national average is 1.41 LU per hectare, while the top 1/3 of herds have stocking rates of 1.57 or greater.

Will my output figures be distorted if my herd has drastically increased/decreased stock numbers in a particular year?

No, these situations are accounted for through inventory change. Inventory change compares your stock numbers at the end of the year to the start of the year. The difference in liveweight is then added or subtracted from your total output figure. If, for example, you have significantly increased stock numbers by purchasing stock, your purchases figure will be much higher than your sales. Inventory change will add the liveweight of the extra stock on hand to your overall output figure to correct for the extra purchases.

An example of a herd with extra stock on hand at the end of the year. The extra 12,920 kg is added to the herd’s output figure (sales – purchases). This accounts for the extra stock in the herd.

I received my report in the post but it doesn’t include my land area. Can I record my land area and regenerate a report?

Yes, you can do this by logging in to your HerdPlus account. Go to the reports section and open the ‘General’ dropdown. Select ‘Beef Output Report’ and click ‘Generate New Report’. Record the number of hectares available to your beef enterprise, select the year for which you want a report and click ‘Generate Report’. A new report will generate in PDF format. When ready, you will be prompted to download the file.

Discuss with an agricultural advisor.

The Beef Output Report is an excellent means by which to critique the performance of your own herd. If your herd’s performance is below where you would like it to be, then you should discuss the situation with your agricultural adviser and identify ways to improve your output performance.

If you have any queries on this report or any other aspect of the HerdPlus service, please contact us on 023-8820452 or email [email protected].