Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farming: Signing Up to Stabiliser Made Sense for Family

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Farming: Signing Up to Stabiliser Made Sense for Family

Article excerpt

Byline: Jennifer MacKenzie

BEEF producers throughout the North West have pledged unprecedented support in the Northwest Stabiliser Project.

The three-year pounds 375,000 Foodnorthwest initiative is funded by the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA).

Within three years of its launch, five new multiplier Stabiliser herds have been established to contribute to increasing the pool of breeding stock, and more than 1,000 Stabiliser-sired animals are on the ground.

Of these, 110 are pure bred.

In addition, 900 sucklers are currently in calf to the Stabiliser.

More than 200 farmers have registered an interest in the project of which so far around 30 have ordered either semen or bulls to breed Stabiliser replacement heifers by grading up from their existing suckler cows.

Project co-ordinator Lowri Williams said: "The interest from the region's farmers in Stabiliser cattle has been quite unprecedented and the Northwest Stabiliser Project has exceeded the targets it had been set to achieve.

"With a projected return of pounds 10.8m to the industry over 10 years, we believe that the initiative is on track."

The project was originally designed to enable North West suckler producers to introduce composite breeding strategies as a catalyst to improve the efficiency and quality of beef production and subsequently enhance the competitiveness of their suckler herds, and that objective has never before been more relevant.

"The farmers who have expressed interest so far have one thing in common, they are all seeking the opportunity to reduce escalating production costs and improve the output value of their suckler enterprises, and the Stabiliser is providing them with a solution," Lowri added.

"The Stabiliser is a composite damline imported eight years ago by the Stabiliser Cattle Company from the USA where it was developed to deliver consistent high-quality beef produced for least cost per kilo in subsidy-free systems."

In 2007, 9,300 cows were mated by Stabiliser bulls. These cows are scheduled to deliver cost savings of pounds 97 a head per year based on the top third of Signet performance recorded herds in 2006/07. …

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