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Million-pound investment to benefit beef industry efficiency
Published:  09 November, 2016

Research and industry collaborators are being sought out to help establish a five-year Beef Knowledge Partnership, with an emphasis on beef production. 

The £1.5m initiative, developed by the Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) Beef & Lamb, has been designed to create and enforce a programme of research, development and knowledge exchange in two areas:

• To improve youngstock health and reduce losses due to poor health and disease during the production cycle
• To improve efficiency in the use of feed and forages, including updating nutrition standards for beef cattle

Chosen researchers will collaborate with AHDB Beef & Lamb to deliver focused, commercially-relevant and innovative industry insight, while gathering information on new technical developments, improved practices and emerging international ideas. A knowledge exchange programme will help beef farmers prepare themselves for future challenges.

“Mortality and production loss due to disease have a significant impact on the bottom line, and reduce our competitiveness internationally,” said Dr Mary Vickers, AHDB Beef & Lamb senior scientist.

“Increasing pressure to minimise antibiotic use across the livestock industry means that it is more important than ever to focus on proactive cattle health management,” she added.

“Food and forage use efficiency is another key factor in sustaining a profitable beef system. Research on beef ration formulation is now 30 years old, so there is a real need for updating through new research.

“A partnership approach provides a flexible means for researchers and the beef industry to work collaboratively. The five-year term of the agreement means the work being undertaken can respond dynamically to new developments or emerging science.”

The Knowledge Partnership will expand on existing AHDB collaborative projects, while being encourage to access funding from other sources such as UK Research Councils, Innovate UK and the industry.