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Seeking efficiency: Model comparison seeking efficiency from dual beef & milk systems (HeritageBreeds) - SCF0231


Defra is seeking to understand the evidence more fully on: 1. The current use of heritage and dual-purpose cattle in UK farming systems and the reasoning for holding these breeds (e.g., environmental, cultural, suitability to management system or input levels, climate etc.). 2. Efficiency and productivity compared between conventional and heritage/dual-purpose breeds as well as within heritage/dual-purpose breeds, accounting for costs of production. 3. How well do current productivity models reflect heritage/dual-purpose breeds? 4. The levels of GHG emissions per measure of product and land for these breeds when compared to conventional breeds. 5. The potential for increasing the use of heritage/dual-purpose cattle in extensive and intensive farming systems, mentioning benefits and trade-offs. Including opportunities for heritage/dual-purpose cattle in forage-based diet management systems. Are there any system or geographical limitations to using heritage/dual-purpose cattle? 6. The potential benefits and trade-offs on efficiency, lifetime productivity, and health for crossbreeding heritage/dual-purpose cattle into current beef and dairy systems. Including looking at the use of AI and sexed semen in increased specialization, efficiency and value. 7. Opportunities for heritage/dual-purpose cattle to cope with changing climate conditions and heat stress. To what extent does the suitability of certain breeds vary between area and management systems? 8. What does the most efficient implementation look like for the use of heritage and dual-purpose breeds in different management systems when viewing productivity, production costs, welfare and GHG emissions?

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