Despite huge uncertainty in the agricultural sector, beef farmers must start to make decisions now in order to protect their business in what is likely to be a more volatile future marketplace.
This was the message from Peter Phythian, chief executive of the British Charolais Society, speaking at this year’s National Beef Association’s Beef Expo which was held on Friday May 25 at Halls Shrewsbury Livestock Auction Centre.
“Its time to focus on what we know and can do constructively to ensure the beef industry remains viable and successful in the future,” he said.
“That requires a focus on efficiencies –and choosing the right genetics that will maximise returns.
“As an industry we need to embrace data collation, value the significant gains from using EBV’s, Genomics and fully understand the impact of different breeds on business profitability.
“We recognise this new approach to future beef production, and as a Society work with producers to develop new ways in which to improve their business. As an example, we recently announced a change in our DNA testing which we believe will lead to greater efficiencies and improved breeding.
“We need to work smarter not harder. The Beef Expo attracts many national and international visitors – from every level within the industry and, as farmers, we need to instil confidence in, and promote, our ability to produce world class beef.
“This will require farmers to illustrate their business knowledge and success – in turn requiring the use of recognised systems and information.
“Just as an example, in Northern Ireland (Greenmount College), the progeny of an elite bull (Top 1% for 400-day growth, muscle and beef value) was compared to a bull with average EBVs. On average, the cattle were 30kg deadweight heavier at slaughter, and took 74 days less to reach slaughter weights. With current prices, this difference is worth over £200.
“Over a typical herd, that’s a significant income – and easily achieved by selecting the best bulls.
“We also need to keep up to date with research and new developments, it has been proven by the upturn in store and finished prices across the country that Charolais crosses achieve better performance and higher financial returns– so consider this in your bull selection,” he added.
“This applies to dairy farmers, looking to gain extra income from beef calves. Charolais cross calves can be a much needed, and important, income stream into a dairy business. Many dairy farmers now recognise the ‘modern’ Charolais offers an easy calving option with a valuable calf, and we’re seeing considerable interest from this sector for current breeding programmes.
“We work with many other industry organisations to improve farm profitability. This is very much at the core of the Society and I strongly believe that the Charolais breed has a bright and successful future.”
10 Charolais facts
- Charolais genetics arrived in Britain in 1959 smuggled in a thermos flask.
- The breed was known in the UK as Charolais until the British Charolais Cattle Society was officially established on the 27th July 1962.
- By the late 1960s, the industry realised that as few as 50 Charolais bulls would be required to service at any one time the entire number of MMB and private AI stations.
- The first ever Charolais bull calf to be born in Britain was recorded on 1 January 1967.
- Charolais was not introduced as a beef terminal sire on any significant commercial scale until the late 1960s.
- Charolais won the Burke Trophy, the Royal Show’s interbreed beef award for pairs, on a record 17 occasions.
- The price record 100,000gns Charolais bull, Vexour Garth was sold at Stirling in October 2012, by his breeder Jan Boomaars and was purchased by the Livestock Capital Partnership, USA.
- In 2011, Allanfauld Fizz, a 19-month-old purebred heifer was the first ever pedigree Charolais to secure the Royal Smithfield championship.
- The Agricultural and Horticultural Development Board (AHDB) recorded a 10%premium price for Charolais store cattle above other continental crosses in 2012.
- A breed record sale average of £7,653 was set at the February 2012 Stirling sale
June 25, 2018 Highland Show 2018
FEMALE born on or between 1st April and 31st July 2017
1 – Bassett Nadia – Brailes Livestock
2 – Ballindalloch Nadine – Mr John Irvine & Son
3 – Balthayock Nessie – Major DFWH & NR Walter
FEMALE born on or between 1st January and 31st March 2017
1 – Elgin Nancy – Mr RA Milne & Sons
2 – Silvermere Narnia – Miss Michelle Hanson
3 – Loganbar Nadia – Mr DM Lyle & Sons
FEMALE born on or between 24th June and 31st December 2016
1 – Alsnow Melissa – AJR Farms
2 – Inverlochy Marie – Mr John Irvine & Son
3 – Barnsford Marquise – T & S Gatherer
FEMALE born on or between 1st January and 23rd June 2016
1 – Harestone Matilda – R & N Barclay
2 – Wissington Mocha – Mrs J Rix
3 – Lourie Mabel – Mr Robert Aitken
FEMALE born on or between 1st January and 31st December 2015
1 – Newroddige Linda – AJR Farms
2 – Battleford Lola – Mr Blair Duffton
3 – Lagavaich Lucy – Mr Gary Wright
FEMALE, in Milk or in Calf, born on or before 31st December 2014
1 – Inverlochy Ingris – Mr John Irvine & Son
2 – Edenhurst Joujou – Miss Abbie Anderson
3 – Olrig Jadore – Mr Andrew Morris
BULL born on or between 1st April and 30th June 2017
1 – Tweeddale Notorious – Redhead & Watson
2 – Forglen Nero – Mr Eric A Mutch
3 – Westpit Nashville ET – A & J Gammie
BULL born on or between 1st January and 31st March 2017
1 – Elgin Neuer – Mr RA Milne & Sons
2 – Firhills Nimrod – Mr DH Muirhead
3 – Tweeddale Napoleon – Redhead & Watson
BULL born on or before 31st December 2015
1 – Harestone Jaquard – R & N Barclay
2 – Balthayock Loyalist – Major DFWH & NR Walter
3 – Stranagone Jones – Mr Robert McWilliams
Champion and best bull, breeder of best bull
Harestone Jaquard – R & N Barclay
Inverlochy Ingris – Mr John Irvine & Son
Reserve Bull and junior champion and best junior bull
Elgin Neuer – Mr RA Milne & Sons
Inverlochy Ingris – Mr John Irvine & Son
Edenhurst Joujou – Miss Abbie Anderson
Reserve Junior Animal and best junior female
Elgin Nancy – Mr RA Milne & Sons
Reserve Junior Bull
Firhills Nimrod – Mr DH Muirhead
Reserve Junior Female
Silvermere Narnia – Miss Michelle Hanson
Best Animal of opposite sex to Champion and best animal bred by exhibitor
Inverlochy Ingris – Mr John Irvine & Son
Best Pair of Charolais cattle owned and bred by exhibitor entered in the show classes
Elgin Neuer and Nancy – Mr RA Milne & Sons
Reserve Pair of Charolais cattle owned and bred by exhibitor entered in the show classes
Firhills Maisie and Nimrod – Mr DH Muirhead
Interbreed team champions
Harestone Matilda, Battleford Lola, Inverlochy Ingris and Harestone Jaquard
June 19, 2018 Mornity Nero heads over to Ireland for semen collection
Robert Young of the Mornity herd was delighted to inform us that he has sold the 15-month-old Mornity Nero, in a private deal to Elite Pedigree Genetics of Northern Ireland for an undisclosed five figure sum.
Robert said “Mornity Nero is the best bull bred by the herd to date, boasting great length, shape, confirmation and power together with great Breedplan figures. His dam Mornity Brechin was one of the best breeders in the herd.”
Nero boasts an impressive pedigree with his 14,000gns sire Westcarse Houdini’s line including the 10,000gns Mortimers Echo and the 28,000gns Farleycopse Turbo, while his dam’s pedigree includes Balthayock Upright, the renowned 30,000gns Dingle Hofmeister and multiple show champion Newhouse Count.
The Mornity Charolais herd, consisting 20 breeding females, was founded by Roberts father Graham Young and grandfather Jack Nicoll in 1990 and has produced a host of champions across their local Perthshire shows and most notably a Royal Highland Show reserve female champion. More recently, the introduction of jointly owned herd sire Houdini, together with a careful female breeding replacement policy, has seen bull sales take off over the past two years. Since February 2016 Houdini’s sons have sold to 10,000gns no less than three times and averaged an impressive £7,000 for 14 sold.
New owner Bartley Finnegan, who has purchased Mornity Nero for semen collection for his Elite Pedgree Genetics business commented, “I have been watching Westcarse Houdini sons being sold at Society sales and liked what I saw. This sire is producing modern easy calving Charolais bulls, which is what my customers are looking for. Houdini is consistently breeding quality progeny into both the Mornity and Elgin Charolais herds with over eighty calves on the ground showing he is producing the goods.
“I extensively researched Nero and his bloodline before going to look at him and choose him primarily for his Length, width and power. He comes from a very consistent breeding line, with generations of easy calving on the sire side and power and growth coming from his dam’s side. His Breedplan figure are impressive with a top 10% calving score of +11, while crucially there is no sacrifice on growth with his 200, 400 and 600 day weights scoring in the top 20% of the breed. He will be a great asset to my business and semen will be available throughout the UK mainland, Northern Ireland and for export to ROI”
June 18, 2018 Carlisle Charolais Summer Sale
The Charolais Cattle Summer Sale on Friday 15 June at Carlisle saw a small show of only 3 bulls forward but did achieve a 100% clearance rate with top price of 3,600gns and an average of £2733.
Leading the sale was Messrs Campbell’s Thrunton Mercedes from Alnwick, Northumberland. This 2-year-old bull was sired by the 14,000gns Stirling junior champion Blelack Imperialist and out of Thrunton Heartbreaker, a Blelack Digger daughter and was purchased on the day by Messrs McClanachan from Dumfries.
Next in the price rankings was Richard and Carol Rettie’s November 2016-born bull Retties Magic. Sired by 12,000gns Carlisle reserve senior champion Wesley Equinox and out of the East Lothian-bred Redheughs Cumbria who goes back to the National Show reserve male champion Glencoe Vision, he was purchased by Messrs Duff from Wigton.
The final bull to sell was the 15-month-old Crookdake Naylor from Messrs Miller’s Waverton based herd. This son of Hallbankgate Jackpot and the 25,000gns Perth supreme champion Goldies Unbeatable Crookdake Damaris, was purchased by Messrs Mounsey from Penrith.
Auctioneers: Harrison & Hetherington
Averages: 3 Bulls, £2733.33
June 5, 2018 Magnum hits top price at Swatragh
The ring was packed to the rafters at Swatragh Mart, for the inaugural Northern Ireland Charolais club sale evening on Friday 1 June, where 11 bulls sold to an average of £2,711 and a clearance of 79%.
Leading the bull bids at 4,000gns was the pre-sale show supreme and male champion from Will Short, Beragh, Co Tyrone. Champion Woodpark Magnum, who is a 16-month-old son of Deeside Gulliver and the homebred 19,000gns Doune and Dunblane champion Corrie Alan-sired Woodpark Hattie, was purchased by Noel McIlwaine, Plumbridge, Co Tyrone.
Following on at 3,300gns was the 13,000gns Royal Highland Show class winner Allanfauld Hustler son Ramrad Norman whose dam Ramrad Hayley goes back to Kilbridefarm Stuart. This January 2017-born lad consigned by Douglas Morrow, Coleraine, Co Derry, caught the eye of Wilbert McLenaghan, Limavady, Co Derry.
Securing 2,900gns for breeder and exhibitors Michael and Gerard McShane, Articarvin, Co Tyrone, was the 17-month-old Altnaderog Nero. Nero, who is out of the southern Irish-bred dam Deeleview Isabelle, who goes back to Pirate, and is sired by the 12,000gns Maerdy Fiend went on to Ballynahinch, Co Down, to work for Mervin Murphy.
Next to go, this time consigned by Harold Stubbs and Alan Burleigh, Crummy, Co Fermanagh, was Melvin Nathan, who earlier in the day had been tapped out third in his class by judge Gary Henderson. This 15-month-old, sired by Whitecliffe James and out of the Dartonhall Givenchy daughter Melvin Janet, was knocked down sold for 2,700gns to JP and James McKeagney, Maghera, Co Derry.
The very next lot to sell was the reserve supreme and reserve male champion Lurgancot Narcos who was purchased by David Thompson, Goshaden, Co Derry at 2,600gns. Rory McKeever, Kilmore, Co Armagh was the consigner of the February 2017-born Narcos, who is bred out of the Cottage Devon-sired Lurgancot Helga and by the 25,000gns Stirling intermediate champion Inverlochy Ferdie.
Next in the trade stakes was a blue-ticket winner and 16-month-old from the aforementioned Will Short, who is again sired by Deeside Gulliver but this time out of Annagh Connie, another Corrie Alan daughter. Woodpark Maverick sold to Michael McNally, Portadown, Co Armagh for 2,400gns.
Just behind at 2,300gns was the class winner Fury Nevada. Sired by the Irish-bred Crossmolina Euro and bred out of the 18,000gns Perth intermediate champion Fury Action daughter Fury Diamond, the March 2017-born Nevada was bred and exhibited by Pat Hackett, Clogher, Co Tyrone and purchased by Alan Farlow, Garvagh, Co Derry.
Just a few lots earlier, a 16-month-old entry from Kenneth Veitch, Lisbellaw, Co Fermanagh, was sold in a 2,200gns deal to Eamon Caldwell, Claudy, Co Derry. Drumlone Nobleman, who placed second in his class at the pre-sale show is a son of the Southern Irish-bred Goldstar Gentleman and the Texan-sired Drumlone Isla.
A trio of bulls were knocked down at 2,000gns a piece with the first coming from Mervyn McKeown, Crossgar, Co Down. Royaldowns Mercedes is sired by Rowandale Dancer who has bred over 30 progeny into the herd since 2016, while his dam is Royaldowns Daisy, a Allanfauld Velocity daughter and the 19-month-old caught the eye of William McCann, Ballymena, Co Antrim.
Also commanding a 2,000gns bid and from the same home, but this time from Richard Fulton, Dungiven, Co Derry, was the very next lot, Royaldowns Mascott. The October 2016-born
Mascott boasts an impressive pedigree being sired by the proven easy calving and short gestation Blelack Digger, while his dam is Royaldowns Icemaiden, a daughter of the 55,000gns Royal Show supreme champion Thrunton Voldemort.
Matching the 2,000gns price tag was Robert McWilliams’ Stranagone Memorable from Maghera, Co Derry. The man behind the money on this 15,000gns Carlisle supreme champion Burradon Talisman son, was E Irwin, Coleraine, Co Derry. The 18-month-old Memorable’s dam Stranagone Jo, is a first-time calving daughter of Blelack Digger.
Two sets of cows and calves were exhibited by James McGuigan, Maghera, Co Derry and the first set was purchased for a total of 4,160gns by Jonathan Crawford, Maghera, Co Derry. Mother, Carnview Henrietta ET, a five-year-old daughter of the 55,000gns Balmoral Interbreed champion Sportsmans Columbo and the 10,800gns Beechdale Uplift-sired Coolnaslee Antonia, was purchased along with her six-month-old bull calf Carnview Noah, who is sired by Whitecliffe James.
Mr McGuigan’s other cow and calf outfit were sold as a spilt lot. The six-year-old Carnview Honey ET, who is bred the same way as Henrietta, secured 1,200gns from Patsy Bradley, Maghera, Co Derry, and her six-month-old bull calf Carnview Nobby, who is sired by Davally Illusion, was purchased for 800gns by B McKeever, Kilmore, Co Armagh.
The top priced heifer at 1,365gns was the day’s reserve female champion Royaldowns Missy, another by the aforementioned Blelack Digger, she is out of Royaldowns Jenna who in turn is sired by the 25,000gns Stirling intermediate champion Inverlochy Ferdie. The 19-month-old Missy was bred and exhibited by Mervyn McKeown, Crossgar, Co Down and moves down to the South with purchaser Anthony Rabbett, Muff, Co Dongal.
The only other heifer on offer was another from Mervyn McKeown who had been crowned female champion in the pre-sale show and this time purchased by Michael J Quinn, Dunamore for 1,200gns. Royaldowns Millie, is a June 2016-born daughter of Rowandale Dancer and the Omagh Show champion Roundhill Ohoh-sired Royaldowns Carolanhe.
Averages: 11 bulls £2,711, two cows and calves £3,234, two heifers £1,347
Auctioneers and Sponsors: Swatragh Livestock Market
Judge: Gary Henderson, Bushmills, Co Antrim