The EBLEX Beef Better Returns Programme (BRP) is asking 3,000 English
beef producers to help shape the content and delivery of the project
over the next two years.
During April, a cross section of producers will receive
a detailed questionnaire from the University of Reading. The aim
of the survey is to influence the continued development of the
Beef BRP to ensure that it meets the needs of English beef farmers.
It will also serve as a benchmark against which to measure the
success of the programme in the future. At the end of the project
there will be a second survey to see how attitudes and practices
“The strength of the Beef BRP is that it is designed and
driven by the industry,” says Netta de la Cour, Beef BRP
Project Manager, EBLEX. “We have a Steering Group drawn from
all parts of the English beef industry, and by asking 3,000 beef
farmers to help by completing this survey we are hoping to get
a real front-line feel for what they want.”
The cross section of English beef producers will receive one of
three surveys, each focusing on different areas of the Beef BRP.
The survey on feeding and nutrition asks farmers about their current
practices and attitudes to assessing the nutritional value of their
feed and adjusting rations according to feed content and the development
stage of individual animals.
The survey on selection asks farmers how much they think about
a target market for their beef, whether they weigh and handle cattle
to assess readiness for sale and to what extent they refer to the
MLC carcase classification scale (EUROP grid) to select animals.
Finally the breeding and fertility survey focuses on the use of
Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) among beef farmers, asking whether
they use them when choosing a bull and believe that they can lead
to better returns. It also asks about checking fertility, maintaining
herd health plans and sources of advice when buying a bull.
All three surveys ask questions about benchmarking, budgeting and
“The Beef Better Returns Programme encourages producers to
learn new ways of working to help them cut costs, eliminate waste,
and improve their bottom line,” concludes Netta de la Cour. “If
10% of producers moved from average to top third performance, this
could provide a potential return to the industry of around £25m.”
To find out more, or to sign up for Beef BRP, producers should
phone 0870 241 8829 (local rate), email firstname.lastname@example.org, or go
• The EBLEX Beef Better Returns Programme is funded by
• The five themes of Beef BRP are:
- Better Selection – how to identify and target the right
markets for your stock and earn the best price
- Better Breeding – use
of Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) can result in an extra £30/calf
Fertility & Health – a tighter calving pattern
can improve returns by up to £60/cow per year
- Better Feeding – improved
grazing management and ration control can make significant savings
- Better Systems & Costings – identify areas
where your enterprise can improve.
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