Morrisons has upped the bonus payment it pays farmers to produce Beef Shorthorn cattle by 10p/kg to 30p/kg.

The premium is paid as part of the retailer’s Traditional Beef Scheme, with cattle processed at the three Morrisons abattoirs in Turriff, Spalding and Colne.

It is open to all native bred beef cattle with a 10p/kg premium paid for all native breeds and a 30p/kg for Beef Shorthorn cattle.

“The Beef Shorthorn is now numerically Britain’s fastest growing native breed and accounts for between 30% and 50% of our traditional breeds range,” said Morrisons agriculture manager Andrew Loftus.

Beef Shorthorn Cattle Society secretary Frank Milne said the scheme had encouraged farmers to invest in the breed with Beef Shorthorn calf registrations up 26% in the past 12 months.

Bull investment

The announcement of an increased premium beef payment coincides with the launch of a new Beef Shorthorn bull – Rothesay Eildon – in Cogent’s latest Signature Beef Range.

Bred at The Morrisons Farm at Dumfries House in Ayrshire, the bull has been bred for commercial suckler farmers to produce replacement heifers and fast-growing steers for finishing. His EBVs, which combine the best of the breed’s renowned maternal characteristics with growth and conformation figures, place him in the top 1% of the breed.

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Morrisons offers premium for native breed beef