GERMAN SHEEP ASSOCIATION WELCOMES UK VISITORS

Following a visit by German sheep breeders to last year’s NSA Sheep Event in Malvern, the compliment was returned when representatives of the UK sheep sector accepted an invitation to go to northern Germany 13-15 June 2017.

Germany is an important market being the second biggest importer (after France) of British lamb; the UK breeding sector is also an attractive source of sheep genetics both in terms of new as well as high-performing bloodlines.  

Being only 50% self-sufficient in lamb production, the German sheep sector is relatively small: around 1.6m breeding ewes and 2,000 commercial farmers. Annual exports of British lamb are 13,000t which is projected to rise to 20,000t over the next couple of years.

The visit was co-ordinated by Richard Saunders with representatives from the Texel Sheep Society (Ian Murray, Northumberland); National Sheep Association Northern Ireland (Edward Adamson, Co Antrim) & AHDB (J-P Garnier, Head of Exports & Ros Turner, Leics, Beef & Lamb Board Member).

L-R Ros Turner, Wendelin Schmuecker, Ian Murray, Richard Saunders, Edward Adamson, J-P Garnier

L-R Ros Turner, Wendelin Schmuecker, Ian Murray, Richard Saunders, Edward Adamson, J-P Garnier

Host was Herr Wendelin Schmuecker, President of the German Sheep Promotion Board, whose flock of 700 pure German Blackface ewes in Lower Saxony was the first stop – this breed being the third largest numerically in Germany after Texel and Merino respectively.

German Blackface flock Wendelin Schmuecker

German Blackface flock Wendelin Schmuecker

Three-quarters of the flock lamb in January (averaging 1.6 lambs per ewe) with the other quarter in April. The target lamb weight is 45kg - all sold live at around 2.90 euro per kg or £119 per head (as at June 2017).

German Blackface lambs

German Blackface lambs

Heading north to Schleswig Holstein, Wednesday saw a visit to Jan Siebels’ 1000-ewe commercial flock comprising Texel, Bleu de Maine & Suffolk bloodlines with a 2.0 and 1.3 lambing average for older and younger sheep respectively.

UK visitors pictured with Jan Siebels

UK visitors pictured with Jan Siebels

A mixture of rams are used (Texel, German Whiteface & Suffolk) with the recent introduction of Charollais as well as UK Logie-Durno hybrids (50% Lleyn; 25% each Texel & Charollais) around two years ago ‘’to improve the maternal characteristics and have lower maintenance sheep,’’ according to Jan.

Jan Siebels flock

Jan Siebels flock

Lambing in the first and third week of April, target weight for lambs is 50kg with an average price of 2.60 euro achieved in 2016 (£132 per head).

L-R Ros Turner, Edward Adamson, Jan Siebels, Ian Murray, J-P Garnier, Wendelin Schmuecker

L-R Ros Turner, Edward Adamson, Jan Siebels, Ian Murray, J-P Garnier, Wendelin Schmuecker

Young breeder, Hanna Hansen, then presented her 220-head commercial flock which lambs end-February to early April averaging 180% and aiming for the 45-50kg mark. Terminal sires used are Texel, Bleu de Maine & Suffolk.

Hanna Hansen chats to the British group

Hanna Hansen chats to the British group

Away from the breeding side came a visit to the Burmeister abattoir which works in partnership with the Baumbach Farm Shop located in the strong tourist area of Nordstrand on the North Sea coast which markets Nordfriesland (North Friesian) lamb on similar lines to Salt Marsh lamb in the UK. Sales through the shop and online reach 2,000 head annually.

The Baumbach Farm Shop. L-R Ian Murray, Edward Adamson, Ros Turner, Wendelin Schmuecker, Doerte Baumbach, J-P Garnier, Karl Olschewski

The Baumbach Farm Shop. L-R Ian Murray, Edward Adamson, Ros Turner, Wendelin Schmuecker, Doerte Baumbach, J-P Garnier, Karl Olschewski

Family-owned, Burmeister kills 200 lambs, 40 pigs and 20 cows or steers per week and sells mainly to butchers or through their own shops. On the beef side, everything is Galloway-bred either bought in prime or as stores where they are finished on their 300ha salt marsh.

Baumbach Farm Shop cold counter

Baumbach Farm Shop cold counter

Hosting the visit were Uwe Burmeister, Karl Olschewski & Doerte Baumbach.

Pictured with Joerg Jensen second from right

Pictured with Joerg Jensen second from right

Staying true to the coastal theme, Thursday brought Joerg Jensen’s 2000-ewe flock comprising of Texel, German Whiteface & Suffolk crosses put to Swifter rams ‘'to improve profligacy'’ according to Joerg which has resulted in an increase from 1.7 to 2.0 lambs.

Joerg Jensen's flock on the Hamburger Hallig coast

Joerg Jensen's flock on the Hamburger Hallig coast

Progeny retained for breeding are then put back to the Texel.  Lambs are born in three groups from 1st April and sold to a regular Dutch buyer from 1st July at 50kg which are purchased for 2.95 euro liveweight (£147 per head).

Nord Friesland salt marsh

Nord Friesland salt marsh

Based on the Hamburger Hallig salt marsh, like Nordfriesland this is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sheep have to be moved onto the raised dikes at high water and losses are high due to the tall grass and boggy conditions.

Texel, Suffolk & Charollais shearling ram lambs from Kalli Fischer

Texel, Suffolk & Charollais shearling ram lambs from Kalli Fischer

The final visit on Thursday was to pedigree breeder Kalli Fischer who sells around 35 rams per year from his 60-ewe flock of Suffolk, Texel, German Whiteface & Charollais. Rams are sold privately or at the annual August ram sale in Husum, the largest in Germany with 700 head coming under the hammer.

Pictured at Kalli Fischer's

Pictured at Kalli Fischer's

New bloodlines are purchased from UK, France, Denmark & Germany and used exclusively in natural service due to the almost non-existent AI sector in Germany, according to Kalli.  Theaves are put to the smaller Dorper for their first pregnancy and lamb at 11-12 months.

Kalli Fischer's senior rams: two German-bred Texels; a Danish-sired German Whiteface and a German-bred Suffolk

Kalli Fischer's senior rams: two German-bred Texels; a Danish-sired German Whiteface and a German-bred Suffolk

Pedigree breeders record through Ovicap and scan just once at 100 days for fat depth and muscling which in turn produces daily liveweight gain figures and some measure of maternal characteristics.

Grateful thanks are extended to Wendelin Schmuecker for organising the extremely interesting trip and to our hosts for their kind and generous hospitality.

SEMENSTORE EXPORTS TO USA, AUSTRALIA, NZ & ESTONIA

SEMENSTORE EXPORTS TO USA, AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND, AND ESTONIA

·      Semen from eight Limousin bulls in all fulfills four orders

·      Simmental and Blonde semen exported to Estonia

A strong demand for predominantly Limousin genetics has resulted in multi-exports of semen from eight bulls in all to the USA, Australia, and New Zealand.  A further order has seen Simmental and Blonde semen exported to the Baltic state of Estonia.  The various orders have come through the online www.semenstore.co.uk 

Featuring established names and bloodlines within the breed the Limousin exports comprise of semen from Dolcorsllwyn Fabio, Ampertaine Foreman, Bahut, Procters Duvalier, Titanic, Wilodge Cerberus, Fenomen, and Karlos respectively.  

Ampertaine Foreman

Ampertaine Foreman

Two separate consignments head to the USA.  Betty Anglani purchased semen from Dolcorsllwyn Fabio (a previous Limousin sale world record holder), Ampertaine Foreman, and Bahut for her Fullblood Limousin herd in Missouri.    Bertha and James Jarnagin of Jarnagin Limousins, Tennessee, also purchased semen from Bahut (conventional and female sexed) and in addition to straws from Procters Duvalier (conventional and female sexed), Titanic, and Wilodge Cerberus.  The James’ were attracted to the choice of Limousin bulls on Semenstore featuring ‘heavier muscling, easy fleshing, and good growth rates’.

Procters Duvalier

Procters Duvalier

The French-bred bull Bahut featured across the exports with another significant order for both conventional and female sexed semen heading to regular Semenstore customer Tim Keys of Keystone Genetics, Victoria, Australia.  With a stated aim of sourcing the best UK-based Limousin genetics available for his Australian clients, Mr Keys has previously purchased Bahut semen whose first progeny he described as being ‘thick calves with moderate frames and a lot of width’.

Bahut

Bahut

A significant order from the bulls Fenomen, and Karlos (homozygous polled) is on its way to Danny and Bethley O’Shea, Snake Gully Limousins, Whangarei, New Zealand.  Again previous Semenstore customers, the O’Shea's were attracted to these two bulls by a combination of their short gestation lengths, ease of calving, and 200-day-milk figures respectively.

Fenomen

Fenomen

Semen from the Simmental bull Drumlone Anchor, and the Blonde bull Blackwater Ainsley, both purchased through Semenstore, was part of a larger collective shipment heading to Northern Europe and the Animal Breeders Group of Estonia.

Blackwater Ainsley

Blackwater Ainsley

Commenting on the online export sales, Iain Kerr, Director of Semenstore Ltd said: 'We are delighted to secure and fulfil these orders to new and existing buyers across three different continents. The online Semenstore continues to provide easy access, visibility and choice on a worldwide basis to a wide range of breeds and British-based genetics.'

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

UK at CAHE China & Global Pig Forum

China Animal Husbandry Expo (CAHE) & Global Pig Forum 2017

The 15th CAHE was held in Quindao 18-20 May 2017 and was preceded by the Global Pig Forum 16-17 May.

The Global Pig Forum

Held biennially, this is a technical forum attended by industry leaders and academics with this year’s theme being safe food production. The British Pig Association (BPA) was invited to speak about UK pig production, its technologies and how the UK has worked to help develop the Chinese pig industry. Canada, Holland and the USA were also invited to speak along the same theme.                          

Addressing an audience of 500 delegates made up of industry leaders, the themes of UK excellence and willingness to do business through the Department of International Trade (DIT) and Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB) were pursued.

China Animal Husbandry Expo

In 2017, CAHE attracted more than 160,000 visitors to its 4 halls and 120,000m2 exhibition space making this the biggest exhibition in the region. There were 1,200 exhibitors from 38 countries with international representation at over 20% for the first time.

The exhibition had also broadened its scope to cover the whole livestock chain from farm to table. Leading in importance was very much livestock breeding including pig, poultry, cattle, sheep and goat, rabbit and deer. From the UK stand, advice was offered on many aspects of animal breeding including animal health, animal housing, feed and feed additives, feed processing, grain & raw materials, processing equipment, meat processing, packaging, refrigeration, meat products, egg products, grass and seed, media, knowledge transfer, consultancy and bio-energy.

 

 

International Presence at Beef Expo

10 international delegates joined an Inward Trade Mission 16-19 May 2017 held around the National Beef Association's Beef Expo at Stoneleigh Park, Warwickshire. Supported by BLG (British Livestock Genetics Consortium) & AHDB (Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board) the visit was co-ordinated by Richard Saunders & John Fleming.

Pictured are members of the Inward Mission in front of Wroxhall Abbey Hotel

Pictured are members of the Inward Mission in front of Wroxhall Abbey Hotel

Coming from Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Estonia & Germany respectively the attendees came from a wide background of experience in cattle breeding, genetics and meat marketing with their main breed interest being Aberdeen Angus, British Blue & Galloway. Some of the group were able to extend their stay to take in a sale at Carlisle, a tour of Genus ABS and other farm visits.

Delegates & Hosts on the AHDB stand at Beef Expo

Delegates & Hosts on the AHDB stand at Beef Expo

A highlight of the Inward Mission were the Beef Expo Farm Tours held on the 17th May. Showcasing the very best of British beef production, a diverse selection of beef farms were chosen - all championing efficiencies in their relative sectors. Tom & Roger Elliott of Upper Heyford Farm presented their herd of 300 British Shorthorn, South Devon and crossbred cattle, demonstrating how their system optimises forage to produce quality native-bred stores and replacement heifers.

Trailer tour at the Elliotts

Trailer tour at the Elliotts

Upper Coton Farms, Guilsborough, is home to Mike, Jane & Charlie Wills' Approved Finishing Unit which finishes 1,300 cattle per year. The combination of precise cattle selection - predominantly Limousin-bred - and rigorous attention to home-grown feed results in tremendous performance to maximise liveweight gain and minimise cost per kilo. 

German Delegate Birgit Huetter  talking to AHDB Butcher Martin Eccles

German Delegate Birgit Huetter  talking to AHDB Butcher Martin Eccles

John Bell, Berryfields Farm, Daventry focused on presenting a fully integrated beef supply chain based around Holstein bull calves through Meadow Quality and his own feed plant, Berrystock Feeds. This AFU finishes around 2,000 head of dairy-bred cattle annually to supply Dunbia which feeds into Co-op & Lidl. The system relies on quality-assured calves and efficient feeds to maximise return.

Visitors at Berryfields Farm

Visitors at Berryfields Farm

The group was welcomed to the AHDB stand by Jean-Pierre Garnier, Head of Exports, who spoke about the British beef industry and its world-leading position as an exporter of meat, genetics and livestock.

Jean-Pierre Garnier presents the British beef industry

Jean-Pierre Garnier presents the British beef industry

UK First at Zambia Agri-Tech

British Livestock Stand

British Livestock Stand

Richard Saunders attended the Zambia Agri-Tech Expo 27-29 April 2017 on behalf of the British Livestock Genetics Consortium (BLG) & AHDB (Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board).

Zambia Agri-Tech Show

Zambia Agri-Tech Show

Held in Chisamba, 80km north of the capital Lusaka, the event for the first time hosted a UK Pavilion arranged by the UK Department of International Trade (DIT) in line with its focus on Southern Africa as a Priority One Market.

UK Exhibitors

UK Exhibitors

It welcomed other British companies such as Perry of Oakley Ltd, Chase Organics Ltd, Precision Decision Ltd, Lina Agro Consult Ltd/Haygrove & Agroponic Ltd. There was also a co-ordinated international presence from Germany, France, Holland & Czech Republic with the well-resourced and professionally run three-day show attended by a wide range of farmers and influencers from Zambia as well as others from countries including South Africa, China, USA, Tanzania & Namibia. 

Boran Native Cattle

Boran Native Cattle

Zambia itself is a fertile country well suited to increasing its agricultural production. It is blessed with favourable growing conditions encompassing a warm climate, plentiful rain and good soil ideal for both cropping (maize and soya predominantly) as well as livestock production.

Beefmaster-bred cattle

Beefmaster-bred cattle

The dairy sector is small in size (15-20,000 head estimated) relying heavily on imports; beef cattle, though amounting to around 2-3 million head, are largely not run as commercial units and are based heavily on native cattle (bos indicus-types like Boran, Nguni, Ankole & Brahman). There is a smaller influence of 'beefier' genetics from the South African Bonsmara, the composite Beefmaster (incorporating Simmental, Hereford & Shorthorn bloodlines into local breeds) as well as Simmental & Hereford whose role is as a dual-purpose - terminal & maternal - sire.

Hereford & Simmental Cattle

Hereford & Simmental Cattle

Boran Cattle

Boran Cattle

Beefmaster 15 month-old steers with Bonsmara bull beyond

Beefmaster 15 month-old steers with Bonsmara bull beyond

Although traditionally all-year-round calving, commercial units are moving towards putting bulls in from December with the aim of getting calves on the ground October-November just before the rainy season which runs from November to mid-April.

Dorper-cross tups (black face) with Meatmaster ram

Dorper-cross tups (black face) with Meatmaster ram

Post-event, a visit was made to Kafue Fisheries, a 2,000ha farm comprising 600 breeding cattle plus game with a production of 1,500t of bream and 20,000 pigs annually. The Zambian pig industry is quite well developed; goats (predominantly for meat rather than milk) are increasing in number with a focus on increasing carcase size with sheep also undergoing development. 

Richard Saunders

Richard Saunders

Further meetings were held with local suppliers to explore opportunities for the export of UK genetics and meat to Zambia. 

Kafue Fisheries

Kafue Fisheries

For further information, please contact Richard Saunders T: 07901-768904.

40 British Companies Attend VIV Asia

More than 40 UK companies exhibited at the recent VIV Asia Expo held 15-17 March 2017 in Bangkok, Thailand, with UK genetics at the forefront of the UK Pavilion.

The biennial event again took place at the BITEC exhibition centre with more than 1,000 companies present, welcoming over 60,000 visitors:  decision-making professionals from around the world. UK companies reported business interest from countries that Great Britain does not traditionally exhibit in such as Australia, Cambodia, New Zealand and Saudi Arabia.

The UK stand was busy on all 3 days with many interesting seminars taking place throughout the event - all held on site to which UK exhibitors were able to contribute.

For this edition, the organisers arranged a 'Chinese Day' bringing a select group of 50 integrators to the UK Pavilion on Day One where Marcus Bates, Chief Executive of the British Pig Association and representative of UK TAG, the Appointed Trade Organisation responsible for the British trade presence, was able to introduce the UK industry. Day Two saw a dedicated UK Seminar Programme in partnership with the event organisers.

With the support of AHDB (Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board) and the British Embassy, the event supported B2B meetings with the Chinese delegation together with a successful networking reception at the British Ambassador's residence.

 

UK Export to Tristan de Cunha

UK company exports bull semen to remote South Atlantic island

Red Poll Bull Fedw Stig

Red Poll Bull Fedw Stig

UK exports may be having a boom with extra impetus from the devalued currency, but there’s one company from the south west of England whose latest shipment is quirkier than most. Cattle breeding company, UK Sire Services, has just exported a consignment of native British bull semen to Tristan da Cunha – a tiny and remote volcanic island in the South Atlantic.

The consignment left Manchester late last year, was received in Capetown, South Africa en route, and made the final 2,400km (1,500 miles) leg of the journey by boat. From the island’s tiny harbour, it was taken by tractor into secure storage.

The semen straws included were from the bulls Albany Ludlow, a pure English Hereford, owned by Les Cook & Family from Cambridge; Fedw Stig, a Red Poll owned by John Williams from Shropshire; Gear Blue Moon, an Aberdeen Angus owned by Mark Pilcher, Director of UK Sire Services; and Morlais Dewi Sant, a Welsh Black owned by Hywel Davies from near Merthyr Tydfil.

The eclectic mix of genetics has been chosen for use on Tristan’s own mostly Hereford and Angus cattle where it is hoped they will improve their productivity for both beef and milk. The native British breeds have been selected for their ability to thrive on limited supplies of grazed grass and for their ease of management in sometimes challenging situations.

Neil Swain, who works for Tristan’s agriculture department, formerly studied at Harper Adams University in Shropshire and instigated the shipment, says: “We haven’t had a change of breed for about eight years, so this will bring in some new blood, and we can keep some bulls from our best cows for breeding.”

Mr Swain works with the island’s only veterinary surgeon, and the two have been inseminating the island’s cattle during the breeding season through January and February. He became an insemination technician during his study trip to the UK and says he is delighted to have received the semen shipment after a complex and tortuous trip of over 10,000km (over 6,000 miles).

“The advice I was given by UK Sire Services about handling and storage of the straws was invaluable, and I would particularly like to thank Tim Brook, Store Manager at UK Sire Services, who kept me up-to-date on the shipment’s progress,” he says.

“The insemination period for our cattle has now come to an end, so we await the confirmed pregnancies with interest,” he says.

Rob Wills, managing director of UK Sire Services says: “We thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of exporting to such a remote part of the world, through the authorities in South Africa and then by boat to Tristan.

“The fact that this is the 50th country or dependency UK Sire Services has exported to is something we are proud of as well,” he says.

 

Notes for editors:

UK Sire Services Ltd is an independent EU licenced business with one owned stud in the south west of England and working with one independent stud in the north west. Since the company’s establishment in 2001, semen has been processed from over 1,500 bulls representing 52 different breeds of cattle.

Semen has been exported by UK Sire Services worldwide, including to Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Burundi, Canada, Costa Rica, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, El Salvador, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Guyana, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, St Helena, Slovakia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, UAE, the United States, Uruguay and Vietnam. There are orders pending for many more countries as they open for trade.

Tristan da Cunha (colloquially known as Tristan), is the name of both a remote group of volcanic islands in the south Atlantic and the main island of that group. It is the most remote inhabitedarchipelago in the world, lying 2,000 km (1,200 miles) from the nearest inhabited land, St Helena, and 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi) from the nearest continental land, South Africa. The main (and only inhabited) island has a length from north to south of 11.27 km (7 miles).

For further information please contact Rob Wills, managing director, UK Sire Services Ltd on rob.wills@uksireservices.com or phone 01364 661506; 07980 894660.

Borderway UK Dairy Expo 11 March Preview

For the sixth year running, Harrison & Hetherington’s Borderway UK Dairy Expo is all set to be staged at the Borderway Exhibition Centre, Carlisle, on Saturday 11th March 2017.  This flagship event will be held at the Borderway and will see the very best of British dairy genetics and industry innovations gather together in front of a global audience.

Without a doubt, the highlight of the 2017 event is the 67 cattle classes, which include sections for Holsteins, Ayrshire, Jersey, Dairy Shorthorn, Red and White, Brown Swiss and British Friesian, who are also hosting their National Show.  Another key event in this year’s schedule is the Showmanship Youth Championships.  Aimed at encouraging and inspiring the next generation of dairy breeders, this event will bring together young breeders from across the UK and Europe to compete for the top honours.

Commenting in advance of the show classes, David Pritchard Event Organiser and Operations Director for Harrison and Hetherington said:  “Our excellent location and facilities here at the Borderway Centre put us in the perfect position for attracting the very best competitors from the UK’s main dairy producing areas. 

“We have a fantastic number of dairy cattle entered (360 head) in the show classes, which really does showcase the quality of the British dairy industry, and the extreme hard work of those involved, not only on the day, but on a day to day basis.  The event was extremely well represented last year with a very high calibre of entries across all classes.  With the number of entries we have received this year, we expect to top this and are very much looking forward to a truly exceptional show.”

Judging the classes will be a line-up of British and International judges: Roger Turner of Winconsin, America will judge the Holstein classes; Canada’s Blair Weeks, of Prince Edward Island, will judge the Coloured breed classes; the UK’s Meurig James will judge the British Friesian National Show; Paul Harrison of Northumberland, UK, will judge the Champion of Champions; and Michael Halliwell, also from the UK, will judge the UK and International Showmanship Championships.

As in previous years, the demonstrations are highly anticipated and offer Dairy Farmers the chance to gain an insight into the services available to them to help maximise the efficiency of their enterprise, or simply improve the overall quality of their herd.  Demonstrations by Cogent will commence at 10 am, 12 noon and 2 pm and will run for approximately one hour.  Demonstrations by Alltech KEENAN will take place at 10.30am and 1.30pm.

Returning to Borderway UK Dairy Expo for the fifth year is The John Dennison Lifetime Achievement Award.  The award is in memory of the life time industry contribution made by Cumbrian dairy farmer and highly regarded breeder, John Dennison, with the aim of recognising a high achiever and excellent role model within the dairy industry.  Former recipients have included Mike Miller of Shanael Holsteins, near Evesham in Worcestershire, John Gribbon and Sammy McCormick, of the Hilltara Herd, Bangor.  The 2016 recipient was renowned Holstein breeder, and 2016 Champion of Champions exhibitor, Alister Laird of Blyth Bridge, Peebleshire.

Taking place in the evening, following Borderway UK Dairy Expo, is the All-Britain Awards Presentation Dinner and Dance, sponsored by Holstein UK and Cattle Information Service (CIS).  This will take place at The Shepherd’s, Carlisle, and tickets are available to order email Carolyn.charlton@borderway.com.

Testament to the success of Borderway UK Dairy Expo is the continued support from the mainline sponsors: Holstein UK, CIS, Clydesdale Bank, Norbrook, Farmers Guardian, Carrs Billington and Harrison and Hetherington.

For more information on Borderway UK Dairy Expo please visit www.harrisonandhetherington.co.uk, entrance to the event is free of charge. 

 

British Simmentals head to Azores

The largest exportation of British Simmental Cattle left on the 7th February
2017 for the Azores. The Azores is composed of nine volcanic islands in the
North Atlantic Ocean about 1,360 km (850 mi) west of continental Portugal.

The exportation consisted of consignments from Mr & Mrs Moffat, Innerwick
Farm, Innerwick, Dunbar, East Lothian East Lothian, EH42 1SE; Mr Richard
McCulloch, Over Hill House, Armadale, West Lothian, EH48 3AR - managed by
John Hughes; and J C McLaren & Partners, Knox House, Coldwells Road, Crieff,
Perthshire, PH7 4BB - managed by Tom Henderson.

In total 13 heifers and 3 bulls were exported to the Azores with the transport and certification organised by Andrew Ewing, Dumbretton Farm, Dumfries.
 

Genus/PIC enter partnership with Hermitage

GENUS ACQUIRES HERMITAGE'S GENETIC ASSETS AND ENTERS INTO A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP

Genus, a leading global animal genetics company, and Hermitage, one of the longest established pig breeding companies in Europe, have announced that they have signed an agreement to enter into a strategic partnership covering the supply of porcine genetics in several markets.  

PIC, Genus's porcine division, will acquire the genetic rights and intellectual property of Hermitage. Hermitage will also become a strategic supply chain and distribution partner for PIC. In addition, PIC will acquire certain Hermitage customer relationships in various geographies including Russia, the US and several European countries. The transaction is subject to a number of closing conditions which are expected to be fulfilled by the end of March 2017.  

The partnership combines PIC's genetics expertise and quality, and Hermitage's supply chain network and operational excellence. This combination will strengthen PIC's ability to deliver genetic improvement in Europe and provide customers of both PIC and Hermitage with access to top-tier genetics and optimal technical and health services.

Hermitage was established in 1958 in Ireland and is one of the longest established porcine breeding and genetics companies in Europe. Over the years, Hermitage has grown into a multinational porcine breeding company.

British Limousin Sales Reach £5.6 Million

BRITISH LIMOUSIN SALES INCREASE ON THE YEAR TO £5,646,159   

Gross sales of pedigree Limousin cattle, sold at official British Limousin Cattle Society (BLCS) auction sales in 2016, increased in the year by over £300,000 to a figure of £5.6 Million. Recently released figures show that total pedigree Limousin sales in the year came in at £5,646,159 - up by almost £308,225 on the 2015 figure. 

In the course of the 2016, eighteen collective sales were held at Carlisle, Stirling, Brecon, Newark, Dungannon, Ballymena and Aberdeen respectively to gross £3,925,038. Official BLCS Breeders’ Sales, which comprise of Production, Reduction & Dispersal Sales, grossed a further £1,721,121 on behalf of 20 individual herds. Just under 1,450 animals were sold in all at pedigree Limousin sales in the year.

Commenting, BLCS Chairman John Phillips, Whitland, Carmarthenshire said:

 “These are terrific figures and reflective of the ongoing demand for the breed and the quality of the cattle being brought forward.  The suckler men and the feeders are looking for performance and efficiency.  They want easy-calving, cheap-to-keep, easy-managed cattle that are feed efficient, do well and hit the target weights and grades consistently. Limousins are fitting that bill.” 

“Commercially cattle that convert food efficiently, hit the ideal slaughter weights at the youngest possible age, and have repeatable, quality carcases consistently hitting the target grades, are very much in demand and finding reward.   There has been a significant and long term industry move to sourcing cattle at 15-16 months of age and weighing 350-380kgs and this has put a focus on medium sized cows producing fast growing calves that are finished at this age and hit the spec.  This change in market focus fits the Limousin breed extremely well as a suckler cow and producing first quality calves with top grades, good yield and high killing out percentages.  These are the principle factors in the strong performance at the Limousin sales through the year.”

In the last twelve years, Limousin pedigree sales have grossed just under £70 Million (£69,930,274). Whilst the high-end of the trade in 2016 saw 45 animals in the year make 10,000gns or more, the highest proportion of bulls at the sales were again sold between 2,000gns and 5,000gns.

 

Strong UK Presence at Ukraine Show

Representatives from the UK sheep, cattle and pig sectors were part of an impressive Great Britain & Northern Ireland presence at the Agro-Animal & Grain Tech Show held in Kiev, Ukraine, 15-17 February 2017. Supporting UK Agri-tech exports were the British Embassy Kiev, Department of International Trade (DIT) and UKTAG (UK Technology for Agriculture & Genetics). UK exhibitors were delighted to welcome Judith Gough, British Ambassador to Ukraine, to the stand to talk about developing trade between the UK and Ukraine.

Representatives from the UK livestock sector included Sue & Aubrey Andrews from Miserden Texels/British Texel Sheep Society, Chris Jackson from British Pig Association, Richard Saunders from BLG and Delta Wagyu Europe. Other UK companies present were JCB, Baker-Tilly, Househam, Addfield, Grain & Milling (Perendale Publishing) among others.

Whilst export health certificates are already in place for the UK to export bovine semen, porcine semen and breeding pigs to Ukraine, a key objective was to make ground on getting export protocols in place for breeding cattle and sheep as well as sheep semen. To this end, Chris Jackson & Richard Saunders met with Olga Shevchenko, Unit Chief for International Collaboration for the Ukrainian State Service for Food Safety & Consumer Protection to aid the ongoing work of UKECP (UK Export Certification Partnership).

Day 2 saw a series of seminars on behalf of the British-Ukrainian Business Forum to include presentations from: Dr Simon Docherty (pictured above), Animal Science & Aquaculture Specialist for the UK Government's Agri-Tech organisation; Chris Jackson, UKTAG, on Livestock Breeding for Profitable Production; and Mike Button, Coventry Chemicals, on the importance of farm biosecurity.

Ukraine Overview

Ukraine is a Priority One market for the UK. Prior to this event, Inward Trade Missions had taken place to the Livestock Event (July 2016), Lamma (Jan 2017) as well as a visit to the British Livestock stand at EuroTier (Nov 2016).

Ukraine has seen a big shift in animal production since the end of the Soviet era. Figures below show populations in millions in 1990 compared to the 2015 figures in brackets:

Cattle 25m (3m)

Pigs 20m (7m)

Sheep & Goats 9m (2m)

2015 figures reveal meat production levels in Ukraine as follows: poultry 1,144,000t; pork 760,000t; beef 384,000t; lamb 14,000t. 2015 import/export figures for meat are: poultry 161,000t/61,000t; beef 32,000t/1,000t; pork 12,000t/4,000t with lamb figures very small. Whilst animal breeding is spread throughout Ukraine, the largest areas are Lviv & Ivano-Frankivs'k in the Western Carpathians; Vinnytsya (Central), Poltava (central East) and Kharkiv (N East).

For further information, please contact Richard Saunders on 07901-768904

BCBC presents 'Practical Innovation - Today's Challenges for Tomorrow's Generation'

Held 23-25 January, the theme of the 2017 British Cattle Breeders Conference was "Practical Innovation: Today's Challenges for Tomorrow's Generation." With its mix of high-quality speakers giving both practical and technical insights into what the post-Brexit UK agricultural landscape might look like, full transcripts of both the beef day and dairy day presentations will be available to view shortly on www.cattlebreeders.org.uk.

British Charolais Appoints new CEO

British Charolais Cattle Society appoints Peter Phythian chief executive

Peter Phythian has been appointed chief executive of the British Charolais Cattle Society from 14 March. He succeeds David Benson who is retiring at the end of March after 29 years.

Peter brings 35 years of experience of working throughout the food chain – from grass roots to retail. He moves to the post from Eurofins where, as business manager he worked with the global company’s feed analysis, genomics, food legal advice and BRC audit divisions.

He began his career on the family’s Lancashire farm managing both pedigree Charolais and commercial cattle. After graduating with a diploma in agriculture, Peter worked with the Meat and Livestock Commission and the European Food Safety Inspection Services before being appointed MLC Commercial Services’ chief executive. He is a member of the Meat Innovation Group and in his spare time likes to watch Wigan Warriors Rugby League.

Peter commented, “I am delighted and honoured to be joining the British Charolais Cattle Society and I’m very much looking forward to meeting members and working with all members up and down the beef chain – breeders, commercial farmers, auction marts, processors and retailers, and to subsequently making a positive difference.”

BCCS chairman, Andrew Hornall commented: “David Benson has constantly demonstrated his unwavering commitment to professional excellence and to development of the Society over a period spanning almost three decades. It’s that solid foundation which David’s vision has forged combined with Peter’s leadership skills which I am confident will take the Society on to the next chapter. Peter has experience and expertise that will enable us to meet the industry’s ever evolving challenges and embark upon a very exciting new phase of our journey of growth and increasing brand awareness.”

British Cattle Breeders Conference Attracts Exciting Line-up of Speakers

An exciting line-up of speakers has been booked for the forthcoming
British Cattle Breeders Club (BCBC) annual British Cattle Conference,
which will take place on January 23-25, 2017. ‘Practical Innovation –
Today’s Challenges for Tomorrow’s Generation’ is the theme which has
been chosen for 2017 by Conference chairman, Iain Kerr, who is also the
chief executive of the British Limousin Society. The event,
which is being held once again at the Telford Hotel and Golf Resort in
Shropshire, will see experts around the globe giving delegates an
insight into a variety of topics, including the latest technology for
improving profitability and the implications for cattle breeders
post-Brexit.

Founded in 1946, the British Cattle Breeders Club (BCBC) was formed to
promote the exchange of ideas on beef and dairy cattle production. Its
annual British Cattle Conference has become an important event in the
farming calendar, providing an opportunity to connect with some of the
industry’s leading scientists, specialists, veterinarians and best
practice farmers.

The post-Brexit panel discussion, entitled ‘Forging the Future in
Post-Brexit Britain,’ will take place on the Tuesday afternoon and is
expected to be one of the Conference highlights. Among the panellists is
Professor Nigel Scollan, the director of the Institute for Food Security
and an animal science specialist. He will be joined by George Lyon,
independent director of the AHDB, while Owen Paterson MP has been
provisionally booked as the third panellist.

Three eminent overseas speakers have accepted an invitation to speak at
the Conference; one is Alison Van Eenennaam of the University of
California, an internationally-recognised expert on gene editing who
will weigh up the pros and cons of the technique and explain its
relevance to the beef sector. Meanwhile, Jerry Wulf, of Minnesota, USA,
who has spent five decades building an integrated company which markets
50,000 commercial cattle a year, will describe all elements of his
production system, from genetics to consumer issues. The third overseas
speaker is Professor Theo Meuwissen, who has recently received the John
Carty award for the development of genomic selection and will be
travelling from Norway, to discuss whether genomics have been fully
exploited to date.

The BCBC committee, which organises the Conference, prides itself on
providing a wide-ranging mix of speakers and the programme always
contains presentations from some of the UK’s most forward-thinking
cattle producers. For 2017, Scotland’s Robert Veitch, who has been
recognised as having the first automated dairy farm in the country, has
been booked, along with 2015 ‘Beef Farmer of the Year’ award winner,
Meilir Jones.

Iain Kerr said:

“Since its inception, the BCBC has become a unique event, renowned for
its mix of practical, high quality speakers. With the future of cattle
breeding at heart, it links a wide spectrum of farmers, scientists,
students and industry influencers. BCBC is a fantastic forum to kick off
the New Year, challenging ideas, introducing new science and
technologies and providing the opportunity to meet people, stimulate
thought, debate and discuss. The 2017 BCBC Conference will of course be
the first since the Brexit vote and held in a year that will likely be a
formative one for UK agricultural and political history.

“We have seen over many years how cattle breeding has greatly benefitted
from the dynamic integration of science, new technologies, and
innovation. In this ‘new era’ I have no doubt that science and
innovation will never have been more important for farmers now and for
future generations. New thinking, and strengthening the ability to
innovate, will provide the advances and improvements that will increase
efficiencies and produce populations of animals that can respond to the
demands of a changing market place and deliver profitability.

“As we look to a market driven economy that will expect high levels of
production efficiency and will demand producer response to a wider
agenda of competing challenges such as climate change, health and animal
welfare, there is a need for us to examine whether the genetics we
propagate at herd and breed level will deliver what will be required.”

The British Cattle Conference extends a warm welcome to non-members,
although anyone with an interest in the UK cattle industry is encouraged
to join the BCBC; membership is £35 a year and includes a discount on
conference attendance fees. To book a place and for help with arranging
accommodation, please contact BCBC secretary, Heidi Bradbury 07966
032079 heidi.bradbury@cattlebreeders.org.uk

More detailed information about the BCBC and the British Cattle
Conference can be found on the website, www.cattlebreeders.org.uk
 

Join the UK Stand at Ukraine's Premier Agri Show

GrainTech & Agro-Animal Show, Kiev, Ukraine 15-17 February 2017

Invitation to join the UK Stand at the leading B2B agricultural trade fair in Ukraine

The British Embassy Kiev & Department of International Trade (DIT) Ukraine have arranged a joint UK stand to include shared facilities such as a meeting area and interpreter giving participating companies a first-class opportunity to explore the market potential of Ukraine. In addition, DIT Kiev have arranged a networking reception on 16 February along with group rates at the Ibis Hotel subject to availability.

With financial support from the (DIT), a grant of £2,000 has been made available for UK small and medium-sized businesses to attend this event. Stand holders taking 4 square metres will be charged £700 with one wall panel or pop-up to display graphics. A management fee of £400 is included in the price which includes: an experienced mentor accompanying the participants; an enhanced British stand; entry in a UK brochure; and services of a shared interpreter. If you would like an individual booth, please contact Chris Jackson of UK TAG, the Appointed Trade Organisation, for availability and price. Graphics for the stand will be coordinated by UKTAG.

The deadline for applications is Friday 6th January 2017.

Event Overview

                         􏰀  24,000 m2 exhibition space

                         􏰀  over 500 exhibitors from more than 15 countries

                         􏰀  over 15,000 visitors from leading Ukrainian/CIS companies

                         􏰀  Website: grainexpo.com.ua/ http://www.animal-show.kiev.ua/

Ukraine Overview

Ukraine is a Priority One Market for the UK - along with India and Southern Africa. An Inward Mission of 15 Ukrainian farmers visited the Livestock Event at the NEC, Birmingham, 6-7 July 2016 which was supported by UK DIT and accompanied by Mariya Kupriyanova, British Embassy, Kiev. A further Ukrainian farmers’ group visited the British Livestock stand at EuroTier, Hannover, 15-17 November 2016 accompanied by Oksana Petrusyk of DIT Ukraine. Export certificates are in place for bovine semen, porcine semen and live pigs. Although no certification is as yet approved, there is interest in breeding sheep and goats and other genetic material with Ukrainian companies keen to engage and support its development with the assistance of DIT and the British Embassy, Kiev.

Further Information & Contact

Stand Booking Form, TAP Grant Application Form and Information Pack are available from:

Chris Jackson, UK TAG, exports@uktag.co.uk, Tel 07801-826069

 

Beef Shorthorns Search for Top Student

Beef Student of the Year launched with £3k at stake

The Beef Shorthorn Society has launched Beef Student of the Year, a first-time award open to those studying agriculture or a related course at a UK agricultural college or university.

£2,000 is at stake for the winning student together with £1,000 to their place of study to be spent on a beef-related project. 

Students between the ages of 18 and 35 years are being invite to write an essay of up to 1,500 words, complemented with a 140-character Tweet describing how a commercial suckler unit could introduce Beef Shorthorn to its current model in order to develop a sustainable and profitable enterprise, without support payments, post-Brexit.

College and universities have the opportunity to nominate up to three essays each by 10 February deadline. The Beef Shorthorn Society’s judging panel will go on to select four finalists to attend a final judging round later in spring.

Beef Shorthorn Society chief executive, Milly Fyfe, commented: “We are pleased to launch this award – the first of its kind, which is designed to provide the upcoming generation with the opportunity to reflect the beef sector’s requirement for future producers, demonstrate an understanding of the industry and the challenges it faces post-Brexit, and how farmers will need to respond in order to achieve sustainability and profitability. 

“The judges will be seeking students who are able to best demonstrate they have an awareness of how to manage a profitable suckler beef enterprise post-Brexit, and the tools - both management and technical - they will deploy to achieve their goal. They must also demonstrate a commitment to progressing their career within the beef farming sector.”

Largest-ever Texel Export Heads to Switzerland

The largest single export of Texels to leave the UK has recently headed to Switzerland, with a total of 103 Texels from seven Scottish flocks exported at the end of September.

The consignment included both males and females, with both ram lambs and shearling rams among those purchased by the Swiss breeders. Gimmers made up the bulk of the females sent, with a selection of ewe lambs also bought, explained Robert Laird who coordinated the export. “They were once again looking for good, functional, commercial sheep with growth and carcass.”

Sheep in the consignment came from Mr Laird’s Cambwell flock, the Clark family’s Garngour, Teiglum and Clarks flocks, Angus McColm’s Crailloch flock, Jimmy Warnock’s Watchknowe flock, David McKerrow’s Nochnary flock and Allan Campbell’s Strawfank flock.

Swiss importer and breeder Heinz Pluss said the latest consignment of Texels to leave for the country had been sourced to meet growing demand and interest in the breed in Switzerland. “Interest in Texels is very high in Switzerland and some breeders are now undertaking performance recording too.”

Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said the continued export demand for British Texels and particularly performance recorded stock was something the breed could be rightly proud of.

“Exports of this size are rare, but it shows the appetite for British Texels in Switzerland and indeed Europe as a whole. The high level of performance recording among the breed is another determining factor for many buyers with importers seeking as much information about the sheep they’re buying as possible.

“Performance recording is another layer of detail and information which helps with their decision making process and gives reassurance about the genetic potential of the stock they are buying.”

Mr Pluss, says the advances made by British Texel breeders using performance recording are immediately obvious when the sheep are compared with those from other countries. “In the past some breeders imported Texels from Germany and France because they were cheaper there than in the UK. However, sadly they discovered there was no real difference to our local breeds.

“When I first imported British Texels it was soon clear to me that they were superior to all other breeds and types. There are no other sheep in Switzerland with such a potential for growth and such genetic potential,” says Mr Pluss.

“There is a massive difference in the quality of lamb I am now producing since switching to solely British Texels. Many butchers say they’ve never seen carcasses like those of the British Texel lambs.

“I had been dissatisfied with our local breeds and felt I couldn’t do anything to improve the quality of my sheep. British Texels have turned that around for me and no I’m seeing a steady demand for ram lambs from commercial sheep farmers looking to improve their flocks.”