30 June 2000

Limousin breeder buys in genetics

ONE Brazilian Limousin breeders dream is to have a son of one of his bulls win at the Royal Show.

With determined investment in the best bloodlines from throughout the world, Wilson Brochmanns Maragogipe herd must surely produce a winner.

In a country where 90% of the cattle are Zebu, or breeds adapted for topical conditions, the Limousin breed is making inroads.

Mr Brochmann, who farms 1300ha (3200 acres) south of Porto Alegre in south-east Brazil, also runs cattle in other Brazilian states, most of which are the tropical Nelore breed, as well as in Uruguay and in Paraguay.

But hes passionate about Limousins, and has bought in genetics from France, the US and Canada to complement bloodlines on his farm where he runs 220 pedigree females.

The aim is to produce an animal that is fertile, with muscling, a good rump, a deep ribcage with high-quality topline and underbelly line and a quiet temperament.

Furthermore, females must look feminine, and all animals must be able to cope with walking long distances, agree Mr Brochmann and his manager Manoel Munhoz.

Bulls produced are sold to pedigree breeders and to commercial cattlemen seeking to use Limousin bulls on their Nelore cattle to add what they lack, says Mr Brochmann. "Nelores are tall cattle, and need something to add muscle, early maturity and improve their performance."

Buyers can also receive some guarantee of likely performance as all bulls are performance recorded and are sold with estimated performance difference (EPD) figures.

Under this system, weights are recorded at birth, weaning and at one-year- old, while scrotal circumference – as a measure of sexual maturity – and other factors are also recorded and calculated.

To ensure all progeny is capable of top performance, Mr Brochmann relies heavily upon using AI and embryo transfer.

Heifers are AId at about 15-months-old – without synchronisation – and are inseminated twice before going to the bull if necessary. &#42

PEDIGREELIMOUSINS

&#8226 Buying in genetics.

&#8226 Measure genetic progress.

&#8226 AI and ET widely used.