Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Praise for Charolais Breeders; FARMING

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Praise for Charolais Breeders; FARMING

Article excerpt

Byline: ROBERT GIBSON robert.gibson@ncjmedia.co.uk

CHAROLAIS breeders' decision to exploit the latest genetic selection and performance-recording tools is helping to provide beef producers with added confi-dence and maintain the breed in the vanguard.

That's the verdict of the society's chairman, Steven Nesbitt of Winston, Darlington, who spoke at the group's recent AGM.

Mr Nesbitt said Charolais breeders were listening to their customers, actively using Breedplan performance-recording data to carefully select the next generation.

This was resulting in Charolais being the only major beef breed to buck the current trends and demonstrate improvements in both calving ease direct and growth rate.

"Introducing Completeness of Performance has also been welcomed by breeders," he added.

"The star rating system which identifies and rates the quality and quantity of performance information recorded with Breedplan is in turn helping them to underpin EBV accuracy and reward them for their recording efforts.

"The system is also encouraging more breeders to record more comprehensively.

"Furthermore, our Council of Management's decision for the biennial Stirling sales to offer only Breedplan fully recorded entries has been fully vindicated; Charolais consistently trades the highest number of bulls and for the highest average price.

"Charolais was the sole breed at the 2015 February sales to witness a yearly increase in the average bull price and gross over PS1m."

The society had also embraced rigorous data checking procedures to ensure accurate recording, Mr Nesbitt said. During the last 12 months, 154 herds were checked, whilst calf registration is now compulsory within 27 days of birth.

After this point, stringent penalties are introduced - procedures that give bull buyers more confidence.

"Genetic progress is both cumulative and permanent," Mr Nesbitt added. "I believe we have achieved a lot in the last 12 months and have a clear vision and determination which will continue to take the breed forward."

The AGM saw Mr Nesbitt re-elected as chairman. …

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