2015-02-20   facebook twitter rss

Mountjoy Achieves Greatest Herd Genetic Improvement

Caldwell and Desmond McAskie’s Mountjoy Charolais herd has been recognised with the Harman Charolais Genetic Improvement Award 2015 for making the greatest genetic progress within the entire British Charolais Herdbook during the last 12 months.

Herd progress was measured by the highest improvement in the Self Replacing Index (SRI) for the calves born in 2013, and recorded over the 2013/2014 recording years. During that period, the 12 cow Mountjoy herd SRI increased by +21.1 to an average SRI +48.5.

Mountjoy Charolais herd has been recognised with the Harman Charolais Genetic Improvement Award 2015

Mountjoy Charolais herd has been recognised with the Harman Charolais Genetic Improvement Award 2015

“We are really pleased to receive this award,” says Desmond. “In fact the herd was commended for making the greatest genetic progress in Northern Ireland a couple of years ago which kick started us in to bringing a bigger focus to using Breedplan data as an additional selection tool. It coincided with commercial suckler men starting to pay attention to figures when buying a bull, particularly for ease of calving.

“We went for Blelack Digger, who is in the breed’s top 1% EBVs for both calving ease and growth. We used him right across the herd and also for some ET work. And the result – he’s definitely passed these traits on to his progeny. We’ve got some quality sons, they’ve got shape and scan well, while we’ve a great batch of Digger daughters coming in to the herd which have both growth and shape, and the potential to calve easily. That's what modern British Charolais is all about.”

The winning members in England are D and B Stacey, St Austell, Cornwall (Polgoda) with a 12 month SRI improvement of +18.6 to +42.6; Scotland: W and P Drysdale, Blairgowrie, Perthshire (Glenericht) +11.8 to +45.7; Wales: Kevin Thomas, Newcastle Emlyn, Carmarthenshire (Moelfre) +11.1 to +34.8.

Ben Harman commented:
“The winners of this year's awards have embraced the demand from our customers – suckled calf producers, for cattle that the Breedplan tool kit enables us to identify. These fully recorded members are breeding bulls which deliver progeny that are easier to calve yet retain unbeatable growth potential – the breed’s hallmark trait sought after by the finishers who are receiving their just rewards for Charolais cross cattle.”

The Harman award was introduced in 2009 to recognise the contribution Ben Harman’s late grandfather, Tony and his father, Dan have made to the British Charolais Cattle Society. Tony Harman was a founder member of the society and among the first to officially import Charolais in the early 1960s and go on to establish the Chesham herd which has since been inherited by Ben who farms in partnership with Dan. All Breedplan recording society members with a minimum recorded 10 calves were eligible to enter the award.

Charolais

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