Limousins sought for beef efficiency programme

Sam Webster, who farms near Bedale, and is taking a leading role in the beef feed efficiency programme.
Sam Webster, who farms near Bedale, and is taking a leading role in the beef feed efficiency programme.
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North Yorkshire cattle farmers are being offered the chance to contribute to a major new project that aims to significantly cut the costs of production.

The four-year Beef Feed Efficiency Programme aims to demonstrate how feed efficiency traits can be measured and selected for in beef cattle, illustrating how the most efficient cattle will eat less than others but grow at the same rate.

The project is funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board.

Commercial farmer Sam Webster, who is based near Bedale, has installed a recording unit on his farm as part of the project.

He said: “We’ve had one batch of cattle through the unit so far and we are looking for more Limousin cattle to take part. By getting involved you could be making a real contribution to the future sustainability of the UK beef industry and will have unique access to data that will be of direct benefit to your business.”

Specialist equipment is installed at Mr Webster’s Mowbray Hill Farm to record the feed intake and performance of growing beef cattle over the next two years. Cattle will be monitored over a 63-day test period, during which time liveweight gain and fat depth will also be noted.

There is capacity on the unit to finish the cattle, so carcase data can also be collected.

The project team is looking to purchase, or acquire on a retained ownership deal, Limousin or Limousin-cross steers to take part.

Suitable cattle should be in groups of four to 16 and be sired by a Limousin bull which has either previously been registered or is currently registered, or an artificial insemination Limousin sire. They can be two to four weeks of age, or be weaned and aged up to eight-months-old.

For more details, call Natalie Cormack on 07866 934563.