NBA BEEF EXPO HOSTS SUCCESSFUL INWARD MISSION
11 delegates from across Europe were part of an Inward Trade Mission to the National Beef Association’s Beef Expo held near Kendal, Cumbria 22-23 May 2019. Representing a breadth of beef cattle breeds, the group was made up of pedigree farmers, vets and beef retailers interested in UK genetics and expertise.
Day One saw farm tours to two enterprises: the first utilising Hereford & Limousin genetics with the second based around the Stabiliser breed.
David & Maggie Kelly established their Hereford herd at Nether Hall near Kirkby Lonsdale in 2014 with heifers purchased from John Douglas’ Ervie Herd, Stranraer and then built on with polled Australian and horned American genetics.
Calving 180 cows they aim to reach 300 females with the focus on low input, high output, easy calving cattle with short gestation. The Herefords sit alongside a 40-head pedigree Limousin herd. As numbers grow, females are by and large retained for breeding with 40 bulls sold last year in addition to semen marketed through Cogent.
Hereford-sired, dairy-bred calves are also bought in and finished at 20 months with any purebred Herefords not kept for breeding also sold via Dunbia on a Co-op contract at 18 months.
The second farm tour was to Kit Crag, Selside, Kendal which supports the Dixon Family’s 220-head Stabiliser suckler herd established in 2004. A tight calving pattern is maintained from mid-April and runs for 7-8 weeks with heifer calves predominantly kept as replacements with some sold in-calf or as bulling heifers.
The use of some AI and embryo transfer means new bloodlines as well as breeding bulls can be introduced to the herd. Stabilisers are suited to the holding due to their moderate size, efficient meat production and ease of calving (first calvers average 30.5kg with cows levelling out at 35.8kg calf birthweight). Bull calves are kept entire and finished aged 12 to 14 months at 360-370kg to sell through Morrisons’ Yearling Beef Scheme.
The second day was spend at the Beef Expo event hosted by North West Auctions at its J36 Kendal site comprised of livestock market and agricultural business hub. With 140 tradestands from R&D to animal health to nutrition, Breed Society stands and competitions, seminars, and the NBA Commercial Cattle Show, visitors were presented with an insight into the latest developments in the British beef industry ‘under one roof.’
Supported by AHDB and the British Livestock Genetics Consortium, the visit was organised by Richard Saunders & John Fleming.