Premium prices, easy management and increased profitability
have been cited as the plus points of the Aberdeen-Angus breed
by all three winners in the Bank of Scotland Aberdeen-Angus Suckler
Herd of the Year awards for 2005.
"The winners impressed the judges because of the
high quality of their cattle, combined with low costs of production
and producing for a targeted market to maximise returns. These
are exactly the three areas farmers need to concentrate on in the
beef sector in the new era post CAP Reform," said John Taylor,
area director agricultural business with Bank of Scotland corporate
who are also sponsors of next week's Perth bull sales.
Overall winner is National Beef Association chairman, Duff Burrell,
Broome Park, Alnwick, Northumberland, who runs a herd of 195 Aberdeen-Angus
cross cows and 30 in-calf heifers on his 1000-acres all-grass farm
with all progeny either finished on the farm or retained or sold
for breeding. Finished cattle are sold deadweight to Dovecote Park
Ltd, Yorkshire, and have been achieving prices of 235p/kg for steers
and 230p/kg for heifers.
"We have opted for Aberdeen-Angus because of ease of management,
early maturity, low maintenance costs and quality beef which attracts
a premium in the market place," said Mr Burrell.
Runner-up in the competition is Donald Millar and his son, Danny,
who run a suckler herd of 330 cows - all crossed with Aberdeen-Angus
bulls - at Bilbster Mains, Wick, Caithness, with third place going
to Rognvald Sinclair and his son, Steven, for their 200-cow pedigree
herd at South Unigarth, Sandwick, Orkney.
Mr Millar decided in 2004 to replace all Charolais bulls with
Aberdeen-Angus to use on their herd of A-A x Salers and Salers
x A-A cows.
"The last few years have been extremely profitable and this
is in no small part down to the fundamental decision to move wholeheartedly
to the Aberdeen-Angus breed," said Mr Miller.
Mr Sinclair said his Aberdeen-Angus herd was the most profitable
enterprise on the farm.
"There is only myself and my son on the farm so we must keep
it simple," said Mr Sinclair. "We like the Aberdeen-Angus
because of ease of management and premium prices."
The winners will be presented with their awards at the annual
dinner of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society at the Perth bull sales
on Monday, February 6.
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