Black Sim bull on way
THE first pedigree black Simm-ental bull will be imported into the UK later this year by Progressive Simmental Breeders, which had news of its new Canadian genetics.
The bull, Enterprise, is one of three Canadian Simmentals to be imported by PSB. The black form of the breed, based on an infusion of Aberdeen-Angus, is recognised by the Canadian breed society, where it is termed a "purebred"; conventionally coloured Canadian Simmentals are "full bloods".
The two other PSB imports include a 50% share in a $59,000 poll bull and a full-blood with one of the highest estimated breeding values in Canada.
Norfolk farmer Brian Filby, who runs 250 suckler cows and the Groveland Simmental herd at Grove Farm, Cromer, is chairman and the prime mover behind importing the purebred black bull after a recent PSB buying mission. "We sell all the beef we produce through our butchers shops and everything is sired by the Simmental. But, like many beef producers, I cannot find the right sort of black suckler cow now the Holstein influence is spoiling the conformation of black Hereford crosses," he said.
The purebred import will be used to produce suckler replacements. Three purebred black Simmental embryos have also been imported, as well as embryos from four full-blood females.
Paul and Judy Borlase, who run the Sacombe Simmental herd at Watton-at-Stone, Hertford, are PSB members and saw some "tremendous" cattle in Canada.
"There is a serious need for new Simmental bloodlines in the UK," said Mrs Borlase. *