Inclusion of fodder beet on greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact

Crickie farm has a suckler herd of 55 continental cross cows put to an Aberdeen Angus or Limousin bull with the progeny sold as store cattle at between 16-18 months of age, ranging from 500-600 kg. Concentrate and bedding costs attributed mainly to the overall production costs for the cattle enterprise, which is estimated to be 148% greater than the FBS average.

The project looks at ways in reducing these costs through the potential of outwintering cattle on fodder beet, which has potential to provide greater yields than any other forage crop grown in the UK. The high yield has potential to make fodder beet one of the cheapest forage per kg of dry matter, as well as one of the cheapest forage per megajoule of energy due to its nutritional characteristics. 

The project will look at ways of effectively incorporating this crop into the beef enterprise as a means of reducing wintering costs, specifically looking at establishment, effective transition on to fodder beet and grazing strategies for effective crop utilisation which minimises environmental impacts.  

The project also aims to assess the impact of the inclusion of fodder beet on the herds’ greenhouse gas emissions and environmental impact. 

The project will also contribute to the Sustainable Land Management outcomes including:

  • Contribute to high herd health and welfare
  • Resource efficiency
  • Reduce the farms’ greenhouse gas emissions