An insatiable demand for British Charolais cattle from commercial beef producers was reflected in last year’s UK marketplace where the breed enjoyed record sales in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland according to breed society chairman, Iain Millar.
55,000gns for Sportsmans Columbo
“The number of bulls coming under the hammer sold was going on 10% up on the year at 746 to average £4,689, a figure that increased by 40% on 2008. The trade for Charolais females also improved, particularly for cows with good calves at foot. In addition, the trends were complemented by a 5% increase in the society’s membership, particularly when considering the breed society was inaugurated almost 50 years ago.” he says.
In Scotland, Charolais bulls met a great trade at the last official sale in Perth in February with an equal centre record of 55,000gns for Sportsmans Columbo, and a new all Continental beef breeds average of £6,062 for 195 lots traded, a figure representing a 93% clearance rate.
Welsh suckler men also demonstrated their confidence in the breed by establishing three new centre all breeds records at Welshpool new mart’s inaugural fixture in November with an 8,300gns top call, and £3,349.50 average for 50 bulls sold. In Dungannon in March, a record £3,332 Northern Ireland breed average was achieved with a 98% clearance for 46 entries sold.
“Charolais is continuing to prove itself as the beef terminal sire that leaves cross bred progeny which appeal right across the sector beginning in the store ring where they consistently head the trade,” Mr Millar explains. “Charolais crosses leave a margin for suckler producers, finishers and processors simply because they have the genetic ability to finish to the preferred target deadweight faster and more efficiently than any other Continental or native sired cattle, and they also grade within the specification. Furthermore, since the breed society has introduced Breedplan data, commercial producers are now able to select more accurately for commercial traits when buying a new bull.”
He adds: “Not only will Charolais crosses’ weight for age, and efficient growth rate become increasingly important to all commercial men as we adjust to a new payment structure from 2013, but it will also feature in beef farmers’ quest to reduce their unit’s carbon foot print and minimise methane production, because Charolais bred cattle have the ability to reach target weights faster than other breeds by virtue of their inherent genetics.”
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