INTERNATIONAL FLAIR TO SHEEP EVENT

There was a truly international flavour to the National Sheep Association's flagship Sheep Event held 17-18 July 2018 at Malvern.

 Farm Tour Delegates

Farm Tour Delegates

With the support of UK’s Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), in conjunction with the British Livestock Genetics Consortium (BLG), overseas delegates from Mexico, Argentina, Latvia & Romania were part of an Inward Trade Mission and were joined by other large organised groups of international visitors from Germany, Israel and Finland among others.

 Pictured with AHDB Butcher Martin Eccles

Pictured with AHDB Butcher Martin Eccles

Farm Tours and an Industry Gala Dinner were held on Tuesday 17th July with the Sheep Event itself taking place on Wednesday 18th July. Visitors had the opportunity to visit two progressive sheep farms in the surrounding area to see how two producers were embracing the challenges posed by Brexit, focusing on diversification and production efficiencies to future proof their businesses. 

 With IM host Richard Saunders (second from right) on the NSA stand

With IM host Richard Saunders (second from right) on the NSA stand

Paula & Martin Whittaker, Gloucestershire presented their fully certified organic farm with 350 breeding ewes, a 70-cow commercial beef suckler herd and some arable production. Direct sales of home-produced lamb and beef are also part of the business.

 With Sam Jones at his farm in Worcs

With Sam Jones at his farm in Worcs

Sam Jones, Worcestershire, runs a flock of 1,150 North Country Mules as the primary enterprise alongside some arable. A keen advocate of data recording, the farming system incorporates solar panels and a biomass boiler.

 NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker with Juergen Lueckhoff, Chairman German Sheep Breeders Association

NSA Chief Executive Phil Stocker with Juergen Lueckhoff, Chairman German Sheep Breeders Association

The business-to-business Sheep Event offered overseas visitors the opportunity to meet a wide range of commercial companies associated with the sheep industry, breed societies and industry groups. As well as finding out about the latest innovations and products available from the UK, delegates could also strengthen their technical knowledge by attending seminars and workshops during the day.

 With Charmoise breeder David Eglin, Warks

With Charmoise breeder David Eglin, Warks

Grateful thanks are extended to the farm hosts, NSA & AHDB for providing a strong programme of activities.

 David Eglin presenting his Charmoise ram lambs

David Eglin presenting his Charmoise ram lambs

                                                       

'LEGACY' PROMISES TO LIFT HOLSTEIN BREED

 Endco Yoder L7933-9839, dam of the top genomic bull Pine-Tree CW Legacy

Endco Yoder L7933-9839, dam of the top genomic bull Pine-Tree CW Legacy

Legacy promises to lift Holstein breed

A new wave of young Holstein sires is presenting dairy producers with unprecedented breeding opportunities, and this week’s publication of genetic evaluations by AHDB Dairy highlights newcomers at the pinnacle of the breed.

Improvement to the way the ranking tool, Profitable Lifetime Index, is calculated brings further relevance to the data as the new Lameness Advantage (LA) and Calf Survival (CS) indexes as well as Body Condition Score (BCS), become part of the £PLI formula.

The number one bull is the new entrant, Pine-Tree CW Legacy, who rises straight to the top with a massive PLI of £924. This value is over £100 greater than the leading bull’s £PLI last April, reflecting his exceptional genetics on many fronts, and – to a degree – the ability of the new £PLI to capture more of the impact genetics can have on farm profitability. A son of Frazzled, he is one of the best udder health improvers (-5 Mastitis, -32 SCC), transmits excellent daughter lifespan (LS +0.7 lactations), good Fertility Index (FI +8.5) and scores well for both Calf Survival and Lameness Advantage (+2.4 and +2.3 respectively). He combines this with high production, as well as positive fat and protein percentages.

In second place is Denovo 7921 Atrium, also newly available. A son of ABS Achiever, (who himself ranks only just outside the top 10 with a PLI of £804), Atrium transmits high fat (+0.20%) as well as strong health, and outstanding daughter fertility (FI +12.6). As the best bull for reducing feed costs in the top 20 (-11 Maintenance) he wraps up many desirable traits in a PLI of £897.

ABS Outback (PLI £866), the equal first-ranking bull from April has now been edged into third place, despite increasing his £PLI. He transmits excellent lameness improvement (LA +3.1), with good daughter lifespan and fertility.

VH Balisto Brook remains in fourth position at £849 with excellent milk components (+0.25% fat, +0.11% protein), and as a bull bred in Denmark – where there’s been a long-term emphasis on udder health – it is little surprise to see him rank as the best in the top 20 for both SCC (-37) and mastitis (-6).

Fifth place goes to ABS Crimson (PLI £848) who is one of the highest kg fat and protein transmitters in the top 20 (combined at 79.3kg), also with solid health.

Places six to nine feature all newly available sires, highlighting the speed at which genomics can identify new genetics with the potential to improve the breed.

Sixth-ranking Pine-Tree Durable (PLI £843) is a Charley brother to the number one bull and with a Lameness Advantage of +3.7, he is the best bull in the top 20 for this trait.

In seventh place is Sandy-Valley Imax Batman (PLI £842), a high fat transmitter (+46.6kg and +0.18%), followed closely by the highest protein transmitter in the top 20, DE-SU 14222 Kenobi (PLI £831).

UK-bred Glamour Boghill Victor makes his debut in ninth place with a PLI of £827. This Verona son comes out of a Supershot dam from the well-know Cosmopolitan family.

Rounding off the top 10 is the former number one £PLI sire, Mr Rubi-Agronaut. Continuing to transmit high milk solids and excellent udder health, Agronaut has the best daughter fertility in the top 10 at +14.0. He combines this with the highest Type Merit in the group of +3.21.

Places 10 to 20 feature no less than six additional debutants. Of note are the highest transmitters in the top 20: ABS Achiever (who is top for fat weight and per cent); Welcome-Tel Bromley 3195 (top for daughter lifespan and fertililty) and Schoene-Kuh Altarobert (also equal top for Fertility Index).

“The availability of new genetics continues at a fast pace and the newly revised £PLI captures even more of the qualities these bulls can transmit than ever before,” says Marco Winters, head of animal genetics for AHDB Dairy. “The traits included in the index have all been proven to influence an animal’s profitability under UK farming conditions and milk pricing structures, so as always, £PLI is a good starting point for genetic selection, before digging further down.

2019 British Cattle Breeders Conference 21-23 January

Theme and dates announced for the 2019 British Cattle Breeders Club Conference

Delegates at the 2018 BCBC Conference.jpg

‘Building the Brand to Promote Our Uniqueness’ is the theme for the next BCBC Conference, which will take place on 21st-23rd January 2019 at the Telford Hotel and Golf resort in Telford, Shropshire.

The conference will focus on ensuring the resilience of the British beef and dairy industries in a changing market environment through effective branding and promotion of its products as unique and valuable.

The new Chair of the British Cattle Breeders Club, Anya Westland, was instrumental in helping choose the conference theme and explains why it is so relevant: “The conference will focus on the new world that is evolving in our industry and how we can develop, defend, protect and brand our uniqueness.

“Continuing to evolve and strengthen co-operation, as well as promoting our brand, will be vitally important in light of increasing pressure on the livestock industry from recent negative campaigns via social media and other channels,” Anya adds. “As we look to the future we must continue to focus positive attention on a cattle breeding industry that not only strives for high levels of animal health, welfare and production efficiency but also aims to deliver high quality and nutritious animal protein products.”

Speakers already confirmed for the conference include:

  • Minette Batters, NFU President
  • Christine Middlemiss, UK Chief Veterinary Officer
  • Jonathan Eckley, AHDB Senior Export Manager

The full conference programme and booking details will be available on the BCBC website (www.cattlebreeders.org.uk) in early Autumn 2018.

 

 

 

Scawfell Opens New Semen Facility

Scawfell Genetics new semen store now open

thumbnail.Scaefell.jpg

Scawfell Genetics Ltd are happy to announce that the long-awaited fully licensed semen storage facility for both domestic and export qualified semen is now open for business at our bespoke British genetics facility in Cumbria.

Managing Director James Hazard commented, “we are so pleased that we have been able to get this project off the ground. All directors as customers have been involved in cattle genetics for many years and it is great that other breeders will for the first time have another option of who to use to look after their genetic straws. Our modern, efficient and cost effective facility will provide customers with a high level of service which is required in the modern era.”

Scawfell Genetics Ltd have established a custom built facility alongside its long established bull stud in Cumbria. This facility allows a complete solution to be provided to all breeders including on farm and on stud collection, semen processing through the most modern lab in the UK, semen storage in a unique facility that provides breeders with complete transparency of inventory.

Director John Black commented, “being breeders ourselves we have built a facility that is aimed at providing fellow breeders choice alongside complete security. Our main aim has been to provide a superior service to cattle breeders and we have invested heavily in the most up to date equipment from across the world to provide a simple, user friendly and cost effective facility. Assisting our breeders showcase the quality of British genetics to the rest of the world.” 

Scawfell Genetics Ltd store is the first in the country that provides a completely automated straw counting system and a portal that allows breeders to see at any time what inventory they have in stock.

Pete Sherwen, Operations Director comments, “the technology we have developed to give our breeders transparency is a huge leap forward for the industry. This coupled with our advances in distribution is extremely exciting, we are delivering straws to the breeders door guaranteed within 72 hours from the day of ordering. 

We are also taking care of the delivery tank returns all within a price with no hidden extra charges for less than any other distributor in the UK. For too long breeders have had to accept long delivery times, excessive charges as they have had no where else to go. Our facility provides choice which in my experience always leads to a better deal for the customer.” 

For any enquiries please contact the Scawfell team on 019467 25000, through the website interactive chat at https://www.scawfellgenetic s.com or send an email to pete@scawfellgenetics.co.uk  .

Beef Expo Hosts Successful Inward Mission

The National Beef Association's Beef Expo held in Shrewsbury 24-25 May 2018 played host to a successful Inward Mission of 12 beef farmers from around Europe.

 Visiting Marc Jones' Calf Rearing & Finishing Unit, Trefnant Hall Farm, Newtown

Visiting Marc Jones' Calf Rearing & Finishing Unit, Trefnant Hall Farm, Newtown

Drawn from Bulgaria, Holland, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark & Czech Republic, the visit was supported by Agriculture & Horticulture Development Board (AHDB), British Livestock Genetics Consortium (BLG) and NBA. The visitors represented a wide variety of breed interests including Hereford, Angus, Limousin, Galloway, Wagyu, British Blue & Parthenais.

 Pictured with Dunbia staff at Trefnant Hall Farm

Pictured with Dunbia staff at Trefnant Hall Farm

Hosted by Richard Saunders & John Fleming, the three-night stay took in not only the Beef Expo itself but also the Farm Tours, gala dinner as well as a number of other herd visits organised both pre-and-post event.

 NBA CEO Chris Mallon & Lythwood Farm's Jonny Cornes welcome their guests

NBA CEO Chris Mallon & Lythwood Farm's Jonny Cornes welcome their guests

First stop on the Farm Tours was the Calf Rearing & Finishing Unit of Marc Jones at Trefnant Hall Farm, Newtown which finishes around 300 Angus and Hereford calves each year bought in from Meadow Quality with a further 450  contract reared for Dunbia.

 At the Aynho Aberdeen Angus Herd

At the Aynho Aberdeen Angus Herd

Next was James Evans and his Stabiliser suckler herd at Partridge Farm, Bishops Castle. Split roughly 50-50 between spring and autumn calving, the 300-strong herd produces quality breeding stock as well as finishing bulls on a semi-intensive system.

 With hosts James & Duncan Hazard at Mereside Limousins

With hosts James & Duncan Hazard at Mereside Limousins

The Approved Finishing Unit (AFU) of Jonny Cornes, Lythwood Farm, Shrewsbury was the final Farm Tour destination. Around 2,000 yearling store cattle are bought in annually with the aim of finishing them within 3-4 months.

 Bus tours at Lythwood Farm, Shrewsbury

Bus tours at Lythwood Farm, Shrewsbury

Grateful thanks are extended to AHDB, BLG & NBA for their generous support in hosting the Inward Mission.

AHDB's Peter Hardwick to retire from Export role

Peter steps back from export role after 24 years

 Peter Hardwick, AHDB Head of Exports

Peter Hardwick, AHDB Head of Exports

AHDB’s Head of Exports Peter Hardwick will be leaving the organisation at the end of June after nearly a quarter of a century on the front line of international market work for red meat.

Having completed 24 years working for the levy board and its predecessors, Meat and Livestock Commission (MLC) and EBLEX, he has decided to take a step back from the intensive world of international market development to pursue other professional interests, spend less time on the road and more on other interests.

Peter has spent almost all of his career in the farming industry, in agriculture and horticulture, and especially in the international meat industry.

“As you can imagine, heading an export team does involve a significant amount of travel and I would like to step back from that now to spend more time with my family and pursuing my hobbies, like restoring my old VW Beetle,” said Peter, who is based in Warwickshire.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time in the exports arena and am proud of the number of new markets we have opened for British red meat.

“It is not time for retirement yet and I do hope to still keep some involvement with the industry, but perhaps with less time on the front line!”

Over the years, Peter worked both in processing and international trade and exports in the UK, South America and Spain. He also worked in the fruit and vegetable processing sector in South Africa as well holding an international trading role with Del Monte.

Peter joined MLC in 1994, running its EU office in Brussels for 15 years, as well as taking on a lead exports role in 1999. He returned to the UK in 2010, taking up roles with EBLEX in UK and international market development, as well as BPEX’s export function. Peter became Head of Exports for AHDB in 2016.

AHDB International Market Development Director Dr Phil Hadley, said: “Throughout the past 24 years, Peter has made an invaluable contribution to the meat industry and to the development of exports in the meat and livestock sectors.

“Peter’s passion and deep expertise in his field have contributed to many of AHDB’s recent successes in opening new international markets, in particular in China for pork.

“We wish him good luck in this new chapter of his life.”

UK Targets Uruguay for Sheep Exports

Please find two links below in respect of Henry Lewis' recent visit to South America as part of the ongoing drive to open up the market to British ovine semen and embryos. Mr Lewis is Director of both Export Certification Ltd & UK Export Certification Partnership which work with key influencers at home and abroad to agree import/export protocols between countries.

https://eltelegrafo.com/2018/03/experto-britanico-en-certificacion-de-exportaciones-visita-uruguay/

http://en.mercopress.com/2018/03/15/uk-expert-in-montevideo-to-promote-british-sheep-genetics-in-uruguay

 

UK Sheep Expert Heads to S America

Henry Lewis, an expert in the exportation of UK sheep genetics, is visiting South America during March taking in Uruguay, Paraguay & Argentina respectively. As Director of both Export Certification Ltd and the UK Export Certification Partnership, Mr Lewis has been one of the key drivers behind the recent re-establishment of British ovine germplasm exports to both North and South America. The British Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay, heralds the visit below with further news items to follow in due course.

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/british-sheep-genetics-in-uruguay

Ukraine opening up for UK Agriculture

Twenty-four UK companies were part of the 'Business is Great' Britain & Northern Ireland pavilion at the Grain Tech & Agro-Animal Expo held in Kiev, Ukraine 21-23 February 2018. With support from the Department of International Trade, the British Embassy & UKTAG, representatives from the National Sheep Association & British Livestock Genetics Consortium were present promote the agricultural sector and help push for export certification between the two countries for beef and sheep genetics. 

 Pictured centre on the British Livestock stand are Edward Adamson (Northern Ireland NSA Regional Director) & Richard Saunders (BLG)

Pictured centre on the British Livestock stand are Edward Adamson (Northern Ireland NSA Regional Director) & Richard Saunders (BLG)

The British Livestock presence was coordinated by Chris Jackson of UKTAG, an Appointed Trade Organisation which facilitates market access abroad for UK agri-tech companies. Edward Adamson, a breeder of Ile de France, Clun Forest & Lleyn sheep near Carrickfergus in Northern Ireland, works closely with the NSA, its farmer members and industry bodies to promote the export of UK-bred sheep.

 Richard Saunders speaking at British-Ukrainian Agribusiness Forum

Richard Saunders speaking at British-Ukrainian Agribusiness Forum

Representing BLG & Delta Wagyu, Richard Saunders gave a presentation entitled 'Genetics Come First' to the British-Ukrainian Agribusiness Forum highlighting the strength in depth not only in traditional breeding but in innovative technologies of the UK's livestock breeding sector.

Strong Year for UK Meat Exports

Exports of red meat products from the UK surpassed the £1.2 billion mark in 2017, according to the latest figures from HMRC.

The data reveals that shipments of beef, lamb and pork topped £1 billion from January to December last year, while a 2% rise in red meat offal exports pushed the total for all three sectors well above £1.2 billion in value.

Figures show that exports to non-EU countries have remained strong, with beef exports to third countries increasing by almost a fifth to just over 14,300 tonnes, resulting in an 11% rise in the total value for UK beef exports, to £409 million.

According to the data, the Asian market continues to be a key focus for meat exports with a whopping 230% increase in the volume of high-value, chilled beef exported to Hong Kong in the last year, more than triple the value of the market just two years ago.

In addition, total pork exports have remained strong in 2017 – up 4.8% on the previous year to 216,000 tonnes with a value of £293 million.

Both EU and non-EU shipments increased last year – building on a record-breaking year for pork exports in 2016.

 Jonathan Eckley, AHDB Senior Export Manager

Jonathan Eckley, AHDB Senior Export Manager

AHDB’s senior export manager for livestock, Jonathan Eckley, commented: “This latest data shows that the UK meat export industry is in a strong position globally and able to build on the incredible figures we reported in 2016.

“AHDB is continuously working to ensure UK farmers and processors are fit for the future as we look to leave the EU. While Europe is still a vital market for our exports, it is important that we look at opportunities and gaining access to an increasing number of new markets further afield.”

Looking at Chinese pork imports, last year has been described as a “challenging year”, due to increased production both in China and the rest of the world; however, the UK has continued to hold levels with pork volumes sitting just above 40,000 tonnes.

Pork to the United States has also increased in value, rising 2.7% to more than £23 million, with the UK’s reputation for producing high-welfare pork providing a gateway into the high-value food service sector.

In addition, lamb exports to both European and non-EU countries performed well in 2017, with total volumes up 14% and valued at more than £384 million. Non-EU volumes have grown to 5,400 tonnes – up two thirds on the previous year.

Report courtesy of Meat Management

Genex Teams up with UK Sires

Genex appoints new GB distributor

UK Sires Direct are excited to announce a new partnership with Genex, a part of Cooperative Resources International (CRI). UK Sires Direct will exclusively offer customers in Great Britain semen from a range of Holstein, Jersey and Guernsey sires that have resulted from the huge programme operated by Genex in North America that will see around 2650 young bulls genomically tested in 2018.

Genex, who were previously represented in Great Britain by Bullsemen.com, is the trusted provider of world-class animal genetics, progressive reproductive solutions, value-added products and innovative services. As a co-operative business, Genex serves its members and customers - dairy and beef cattle producers - across the world.

Genex have owned many Holstein sires that made a massive impact on the breed including Bis-May Tradition Cleitus and three sires who produced over a million straws of semen, Lutz-Brookview Bell Rex, Klassic Merrill Lynch and Jenny-Lou Mrshl Toystory. More recent big hitters include Badger-Bluff Fanny Freddie and his son De-Su Freddie Galaxy.

The first shipment of sexed and conventional semen from Genex’s base in Shawano, Wisconsin, is due to arrive early next month. UK Sires Direct have access to 30 sires with a £PLI in excess of 600, 41 with Type Merit over 2 points, 77 bulls that are positive for Fertility Index and a whopping 87 sires with an index for Somatic Cell Count better than -10.

Genex has a rich history of innovation and industry firsts. The co-operative was the first to publish a calving ease summary, generate herdlife evaluations and produce a total economic sire index. More recent developments include the Ideal Commercial Cow index and subclinical ketosis, metritis and foot health breeding values. 

“We are delighted to have joined forces with Genex to serve farmers in Great Britain”, says UK Sires Direct director Rob Wills. “They share our desire to provide the highest quality genetics to their members and customers at affordable prices and the Genex philosophy of supplying sires that breed healthy, long-lasting and profitable cows will resonate with many UK producers.”

NOTES FOR EDITORS 

UK Sires Direct is a division of UK Sire Services Ltd and started trading in October 2016. Offering semen from carefully selected bulls to British dairy and beef producers, UK Sires Direct has access to over 50 breeds stored in the Devon-based semen store and also the studs of leading suppliers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain in addition to Genex in the USA.

 

For more details call Simon Gee on 07935 908795 or email simon.gee@uksiresdirect.com

 

Genex appoints new GB distributor

 

UK Sires Direct are excited to announce a new partnership with Genex, a part of Cooperative Resources International (CRI). UK Sires Direct will exclusively offer customers in Great Britain semen from a range of Holstein, Jersey and Guernsey sires that have resulted from the huge programme operated by Genex in North America that will see around 2650 young bulls genomically tested in 2018.

 

Genex, who were previously represented in Great Britain by Bullsemen.com, is the trusted provider of world-class animal genetics, progressive reproductive solutions, value-added products and innovative services. As a co-operative business, Genex serves its members and customers - dairy and beef cattle producers - across the world.

 

Genex have owned many Holstein sires that made a massive impact on the breed including Bis-May Tradition Cleitus and three sires who produced over a million straws of semen, Lutz-Brookview Bell Rex, Klassic Merrill Lynch and Jenny-Lou Mrshl Toystory. More recent big hitters include Badger-Bluff Fanny Freddie and his son De-Su Freddie Galaxy.

 

The first shipment of sexed and conventional semen from Genex’s base in Shawano, Wisconsin, is due to arrive early next month. UK Sires Direct have access to 30 sires with a £PLI in excess of 600, 41 with Type Merit over 2 points, 77 bulls that are positive for Fertility Index and a whopping 87 sires with an index for Somatic Cell Count better than -10.

 

Genex has a rich history of innovation and industry firsts. The co-operative was the first to publish a calving ease summary, generate herdlife evaluations and produce a total economic sire index. More recent developments include the Ideal Commercial Cow index and subclinical ketosis, metritis and foot health breeding values.

 

“We are delighted to have joined forces with Genex to serve farmers in Great Britain”, says UK Sires Direct director Rob Wills. “They share our desire to provide the highest quality genetics to their members and customers at affordable prices and the Genex philosophy of supplying sires that breed healthy, long-lasting and profitable cows will resonate with many UK producers.”

 

 

 

NOTES FOR EDITORS

 

UK Sires Direct is a division of UK Sire Services Ltd and started trading in October 2016. Offering semen from carefully selected bulls to British dairy and beef producers, UK Sires Direct has access to over 50 breeds stored in the Devon-based semen store and also the studs of leading suppliers in France, Germany, Italy and Spain in addition to Genex in the USA.

 

For more details call Simon Gee on 07935 908795 or email simon.gee@uksiresdirect.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Levy Bodies Announce Joint £2m Promotion Fund

The red meat levy bodies in England, Scotland and Wales have announced a major programme of joint activities to support the sectors through a £2 million ring-fenced fund of AHDB red meat levies, reports Meat Management (06.02.2019)

 Jane King, AHDB CEO

Jane King, AHDB CEO

The agreement by the AHDB, Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC) and Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) follows 12 months of talks between the bodies and will see a range of activity delivered in a three-way collaboration, starting in 2018.

The parameters of the fund were set out by Ministers early in 2017, with the programme having been developed as an interim arrangement while a long-term solution is sought on the issue of levies being collected at point of slaughter in England for animals which have been reared in Scotland or Wales.

According to the agreement, AHDB would set aside a ring-fenced sum of £2 million to support a programme of activities benefitting cattle, sheep and pig levy payers in Scotland, Wales and England.

The three organisations share an immediate joint commitment to collaborating to ensure levy payers across Great Britain benefit from the activities delivered using the £2 million ring-fenced fund.

Jane King, chief executive of AHDB, commented: “Though we already work closely with our colleagues in HCC and QMS on various projects, this new arrangement will take our collaboration to a whole new level with all three organisations deciding jointly how we will invest this fund to make the biggest impact for the red meat sectors.”

The levy bodies have agreed that effective from the financial year 2018/19 the new joint fund will focus on five priority areas, including international shows and export events, market access, Brexit preparation, meat and health, animal health and environment and research.

The ring-fenced fund is expected to boost the international presence and access for meat from Britain in key overseas markets, with particular focus on preparing the red meat sector for the potential challenges and opportunities that are likely to follow Brexit.

In the meat and health, animal health and environment category the three organisations will concentrate on collaborating on positive messaging to counteract negative messages, while work on antimicrobial resistance is expected to dominate the research investment.

Gwyn Howells, chief executive of HCC, added: “Addressing the issue of the loss of levy income to the Welsh red meat industry has been long awaited. While a permanent solution will require legislation, this interim arrangement will allow greater value for money and accountability for Welsh levy-payers.

“We look forward to working together with our colleagues in Scotland and England on important programmes of joint activity in areas such as overseas market access, research, and communicating the health benefits of red meat within a balanced diet.”

Alan Clarke, chief executive of QMS, said: “The priority now is to ensure we maximise the benefit to levy payers of the activities delivered from the ring-fenced fund. This collaboration gives us the opportunity to take a joined-up approach to issues that affect the industry, regardless of geography.”

TAP Opens for UK Exports

The UK livestock & genetics export market has been given a significant boost this week with news of TAP (Trade Access Programme) funding for a large number of overseas expos during 2018-19. UKTAG (www.uktag.co.uk - UK Technology for Agriculture & Genetics) will be providing these services aimed at promoting UK Agri-Tech exports with funding from DIT (Department for International Trade).

Please click here for the full list of overseas events and grant funding opportunities. Further information can be had from Chris Jackson exports@uktag.co.uk

 

Mexico re-opens for GB sheep and goats

With just one or two formalities to complete and a couple of additions to the Embryo EHC (Export Health Certificate), the UK can return to Mexico with its ovine and caprine germplasm for which there is sure to be a keen demand. Further good news for prospective exporters is that UKTAG have been tasked by DIT to administer TAP (Trade Access Programme) grants for two events in Mexico in autumn this year - a Pig Congress and Expo Agroalimente in Irapuato. ExpoInter in Brazil (where the semen EHC has also recently been agreed - see separate news item) in August is also an approved event for TAP.

For further information, please contact Henry Lewis, Director, Export Certification Ltd (ECL), UK Export Certification Partnership (Defra/ECL) 07990506003 www.ukecp.com

Brazil Market Access - Stop Press

UKECP (UK Export Certification Partnership) reports that the revised EHC (Export Health Certificate) for sheep semen to go to Brazil has been approved by their authorities - MAPA - and should be in place once a few formalities have been effected. Our Post there, the DIT representative, Fernanda Silva, has been most helpful in achieving this and it is hoped that the UK sheep sector will be able to take advantage of this development. 

 

BCBC Dairy Day

British Cattle Breeders’ Club Conference 2018 Dairy Day 24 January
The third day of the British Cattle Breeders Club’s annual British
Cattle Conference for 2018 saw a Scandinavian cattle breeding company
representative claim that maximum production could go hand-in-hand with
high health and welfare, while a Yorkshire-based dairy farmer described
how he achieved top profitability figures. The 22-24 January event at
Telford in Shropshire celebrated the BCBC’s 70th anniversary under the
theme of ‘Farming and Genetics – Let’s Inspire the Next Generation.’
Lars Nielsen, of Viking Genetics artificial insemination company, said a
joint breeding programme between Denmark, Sweden and Finland was focused
on the countries’ three main breeds: the Holstein, the VikingRed and the
Jersey. A recent report had placed the three Nordic countries as having
the lowest sales of antibiotics for dairy cows in Europe. This ranking, 
said Mr Nielsen, was largely due to a focus on clearly defined breeding
goals.
“Scandinavian farmers not only have the lowest use of antibiotics, they
also have the highest milk yield per cow over 305 days, in terms of
kilogrammes, for all recorded cows across all breeds.
“These results have been achieved through the use of the Nordic Total
Merit Index. It uses 60 sub-traits combined into 14 main traits, all of
which are economically important. The weightings are distributed with
50% for health and fertility traits, 30% for production and 20% for
conformation.”
Mr Nielsen also gave the audience some facts and figures about dairy
farmers in the Nordic countries. Some 90% of producers used recording
techniques, with information from 90% of cows used to compile a national
database on general animal health. Meanwhile, 85% of cows were
registered to provide fertility information and 40% of foot trimmers
supplied reports on hoof health to a central data capture system.
British Cattle Breeders Club chairman and AHDB Dairy technical manager, 
Andy Dodd, commented that the UK industry’s breeding indexes for *£PLI
and **£SCI were currently in a strong position to replicate the success
of the Nordic countries, with UK antibiotic usage not far behind the
figures recorded in Scandinavia.
Award-winning milk producer, Roger Hildreth, manages just over 100
Holstein Friesians at Curlew Fields, near York, with his son, Tom. A
visit to the USA just a few years ago inspired him to adopt a ‘can-do’ 
attitude, he said, starting with a thorough review of farm costings. He
has since won a Promar Milk Manager of the Year title and the title of
Asda/Arla dairy farmer.
Among the changes implemented by the Hildreth family was a switch from
bedded loose-housing to cubicles, as well as the introduction of a calf
feeding regime which ensures that calves are given a maximum of six
litres of colostrum over a 24-hour period, followed by 875 grammes/day
of a good quality milk powder.
“We set a target weight of 90kgs for calves at eight weeks, and the vast
majority of animals reach this goal,” he told delegates. “Calf coats are
used in poor weather and we like to maintain a low stocking rate in the
calf pens, with a maximum of six calves per pen.”
Mr Hildreth outlined his enthusiasm for benchmarking farm performance
against other, similar farm businesses. He pointed out that in 2015/16, 
Curlew Fields was making 33% more profit per cow place than the next
highest farm in the benchmarking group, with the figure rising to 50% 
for 2016/17.
The BCBC wishes to thank the following major sponsors for their support: 
The event’s main sponsors are: Afimilk, Waitrose, Mole Valley Farmers, 
MSD Animal Health and AHDB. Other sponsors: ABP UK; Alltech; Asda; Beef
Shorthorn Cattle Society; British Limousin Cattle Society; BVD Free; 
Caisley Eartag Ltd; DairyPro; Dovecote Park; Egenes; ForFarmers; 
Hereford Cattle Society; Neogen Europe; Shepherd Publishing; SRUC; 
VikingGenetics; Zoetis.
###
NOTES FOR EDITORS
*£PLI Profitable Lifetime Index
**£SCI Spring Calving Index
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 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. For all enquiries, please contact BCBC
secretary, Heidi Bradbury 07966 032079.
More detailed information about the BCBC and the British Cattle
Conference can be found on the website, www.cattlebreeders.org.uk

BCBC Beef Day Report

British Cattle Breeders’ Club Conference 2018 Beef Day 23 January
 

 BCBC Chairman Andy Dodd

BCBC Chairman Andy Dodd

The second day of the British Cattle Breeders Club’s annual British
Cattle Conference for 2018 saw Dr Matthew Cleveland fly in from the USA, 
to give a presentation on maximising profits through improved beef
genetics, while grower, Andrew Ward, urged farmers to get involved in
public relations. The Conference also saw the launch of new indexes for
dairy cattle, with the 22-24 January event at Telford in Shropshire
marking the BCBC’s 70th anniversary and carrying the theme of ‘Farming
and Genetics – Let’s Inspire the Next Generation.’
Among the many options for differentiating beef in the marketplace, the
most important were those which were measurable and demonstrated a real
difference in value, said Dr Cleveland, who is the director of global
beef product development for Genus.
“As breeders change their cattle genetics, they need to see an
improvement and have a firm objective for the outcome which is linked to
the supply chain,” said Dr Cleveland. “There are barriers to this type
of improvement within the beef industry, because the benefits of taking
action can be unclear.
“All of the parties along the supply chain need to perceive an advantage
in any progress that is being made. Once stakeholders see its value, 
they will begin to demand greater genetic differentiation.”
The first steps were to understand the real value within the marketplace
and define economically relevant traits, as well as deciding how
performance data would be collected, he explained. The breeder should
then create differentiation through a set of selection objectives, 
finally putting into place a targeted programme of improvements. Dr
Cleveland argued the case for splitting objectives into terminal and
maternal traits and basing matings on the information generated by this
data. He added that the final stage for a tailored system of genetic
improvement should include the aim of increasing profitability through
each generation.
Lincolnshire farmer and founder of the Forage Aid charity, Andrew Ward
described how the industry came together on several occasions where
extreme weather caused problems for farmers. This included the forage
shortage which occurred in 2013. Mr Ward also gave his views on the
future, commenting on the uncertainty surrounding Brexit. However he
also saw the move as an opportunity, stressing that producers had many
more mouths to feed, compared with any other time in history.
“Big changes are definitely ahead, and we are already seeing some
exciting developments, such as the robotic picking of fruit and
vegetables in glasshouses and driverless tractors. But we are also
facing threats from activists on subjects like chemical crop spraying, 
the bovine TB issue and the effect on human health from eating livestock
products.
“More than ever before, we must tell our story and make sure the public
receive accurate information about the way we farm. You would go to a
doctor to learn about medicine and to a mechanic for problems with your
car, so we must be proactive and encourage the public to come to us for
advice on farming and not seek information from the vegan lobbyists, for
example. Some anti-farming groups are highly active, especially on
social media, and it is up to individual farmers to try and redress the
balance,” said Mr Ward.
The group of more than 200 delegates also heard how four new dairy
indexes for calf survival, carcase quality, lameness and feed efficiency
will be added to the existing Predicted Transmitting Abilities published
by AHDB Dairy. Announcing the launch, the organisation’s Marco Winters
said that a range of data had been accessed, in order to produce the new
information, which will start to be released from April.
“These four new traits for 2018 build on our progress and address some
of the pressing issues the industry faces today,” said Mr Winters, who
is head of animal genetics. “Farmers want to know which dairy calves
have good survival, which daughters are less prone to lameness and which
will convert their feed into milk more efficiently. Producers will also
value the addition of carcase traits, particularly if they are rearing
pure or cross-bred dairy beef.”
The BCBC wishes to thank the following major sponsors for their support: 
The event’s main sponsors are: Afimilk, Waitrose, Mole Valley Farmers, 
MSD Animal Health and AHDB. Other sponsors: ABP UK; Alltech; Asda; Beef
Shorthorn Cattle Society; British Limousin Cattle Society; BVD Free; 
Caisley Eartag Ltd; DairyPro; Dovecote Park; Egenes; ForFarmers; 
Hereford Cattle Society; Neogen Europe; Shepherd Publishing; SRUC; 
VikingGenetics; Zoetis.
###
NOTES FOR EDITORS
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 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. For all enquiries, please contact BCBC
secretary, Heidi Bradbury 07966 032079.
More detailed information about the BCBC and the British Cattle
Conference can be found on the website, www.cattlebreeders.org.uk

 

UK PIGS WITH BIGGEST EVER EXPORT TO CHINA

UK pig stud secures biggest ever export order to China

The UK has received its largest ever export order from China for frozen boar semen, in a deal which also involves training Chinese staff in artificial insemination (AI) and semen handling. Deerpark Pedigree Pigs in Northern Ireland has secured the order which will ship in January 2018 and be followed by further consignments over the months and years ahead.

 Nigel Overend pictured with the Gloucester Old Spot Champion when judging at Bath & West Show 2017

Nigel Overend pictured with the Gloucester Old Spot Champion when judging at Bath & West Show 2017

The order has come off the back of extensive work on the part of brothers, Nigel and Robert Overend, who own the Deerpark Stud, with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT) and UK Tag, the export arm of the British Pig Association (BPA).

Over the years, the Overend family has perfected the process of freezing pig semen, a product with which their top-performing customers are now achieving conception rates as high as 100 per cent.

Freezing boar semen to reach this level of performance has eluded the pig industry for many years, but the Overend family was early to adopt the process and has spent decades fine-tuning best-practice techniques for freezing, thawing and inseminating the semen.

 Nigel Overend prepares part of the export order going to China

Nigel Overend prepares part of the export order going to China

Although their freezing process remains a closely-guarded secret within their Londonderry-based company, the brothers are now in keen demand around the world to provide tuition in handling and insemination.

The most recent Chinese order for 2,000 straws will follow smaller shipments, in a sequence of events which is typical for the company when new customers come on board.

“This customer started with a small order of 100 straws in order to test the water,” says Nigel Overend. “When they were confident they would achieve high conception rates, they moved on to much larger orders.”

Semen from these shipments will be largely destined for Chinese multiplication units which produce high genetic merit breeding stock for commercial herds.

“In many cases, the technicians trained by Deerpark are achieving conception rates far beyond anything they have had from any other country before,” adds Robert Overend.

The most recent order to China is the third the brothers will have shipped to the same company and one of many orders which have recently been destined for the Far East. Others include a significant order which left the UK for Thailand last month.

Further interest in Deerpark comes from the rare and minority breeds which are banked at the stud alongside the commercially important Large White and British Landrace.

This stems from the fact that the British Pig Association and the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST) have designated the Deerpark Stud as the centre for their breed conservation programmes. This means orders can also be fulfilled for breeds such as the Large Black, Berkshire, Gloucestershire Old Spots, British Lop, Middle White and Oxford Sandy & Black.

In total, the company has seen a 300 per cent increase in its frozen semen sales over the past two years. A large proportion of this growth is attributed to export orders, a demand which has developed following the company’s ongoing presence at international trade events.

Events the brothers have attended include Viv Asia in Thailand, World Pork Expo in the USA and Agrilink in the Philippines. Their presence at these and other exhibitions has been supported by the BPA, the UK government’s DIT as well as embassies around the world.

“The DIT and the BPA have been hugely important in supporting the UK presence at these events,” says Mr Overend. “They set up the stands and provide interpreters, and we just turn up with the information about our product.

“It’s proven to be very successful for us and with the uncertainty over Brexit, it will be more important in the future to be seen on the international stage,” he says.

As a result of the significant increase in demand, Deerpark Pedigree Pigs is now undergoing expansion of its current stud and existing pig units.

Ends

£6 MILLION BRITISH LIMOUSIN SALES

     ·      Official British Limousin Sales gross £6,311,650

·      100,000gns Ampertaine Mozart tops bull trade

·      Foxhillfarm Mammamia is the top priced female at 42,000gns

Gross sales of pedigree Limousin cattle, sold at official British Limousin Cattle Society (BLCS) auction sales in 2017, increased in the year by over £665,491 to a figure of £6,311,650. The closing fixture of the year, the Red Ladies & Weaned Calf Sale held at Carlisle, saw a gross of £420,000 to push official Limousin sales in the year through the £6 Million mark. 

 British Limousin 2017 Sale Topper Ampertaine Mozart £105,000

British Limousin 2017 Sale Topper Ampertaine Mozart £105,000

In the course of the 2017, eighteen collective sales held at Carlisle, Stirling, Brecon, Newark, Dungannon, Ballymena and Aberdeen respectively, in addition to Official BLCS Breeders’ Sales, comprising of Production, Reduction & Dispersal Sales, saw 1,523 animals sold in all. This represented an increase of 78 year on year.   Through the year 756 bulls sold to average £5470.30 whilst the ongoing demand for Limousin females saw 767 sell, predominantly heifers, to average £2837.14

Leading the pedigree Limousin prices in the year was the 100,000gns paid for the January 2016 born bull Ampertaine Mozart from James McKay, Maghera, Co Derry.  The highest priced female came in the form of the 42,000gns Foxhillfarm Mammamia from Mike and Melanie Alford, Devon. 

Scawfell Genetics Expansion

Scawfell Genetics Ltd is Expanding

Scawfell Genetics Ltd is an expanding business privately owned by farmers, aiding and promoting the UK genetics industry. Based in Cumbria, the privately owned bull stud has storage and distribution facilities for the U.K. and export semen.

A recent change has seen Scawfell Genetics deciding to stand alone after gaining a number of years experience in both the dairy and beef worlds working alongside other companies.

Already supplying an on farm semen collection service as well as on stud service in Cumbria for domestic and export, the business will now be expanding, sourcing bulls and semen required by dairy and beef farmers to suit all farm systems. We are also offering storage and distribution of both domestic and export qualified cattle semen.

Produced from either our own expanding range of dairy and beef sires or our customers who are looking to market semen from their own bulls. Our aim is simple, to provide the best friendly advice, service and facilities to the industry and having the contacts to be able to source the genetics you require. We have invested in state of the art automated equipment across the genetics business to allow us to keep our prices low whilst providing complete real time visibility to our customers every step of the way, allowing you to view live semen stock totals, sales, invoices etc.

The Scawfell Genetics Ltd directors consist of Pete Sherwen, John Black, Duncan Hazard and James Hazard.

Orders can also be placed through Scawfell Genetics website using credit card payment at www.scawfellgenetics.com.

Scawfell Genetics can also be followed on Facebook and Instagram. Or feel free to contact us with your questions or requirements on 01946 725000.