1 December 1995

Ministry grant first for

cattle marketing move

By Sue Rider

Smithfield FarmTechs strong technical emphasis was apparent

throughout the event. Advice ranged from making more of modern

livestock breeding techniques, to computer-aided fertiliser applications

and arable input blueprints. Over the following pages we provide

an insight into the latest products and advice.

IMPORTANCE of cattle breed improvement efforts was acknowledged this week with the announcement at FarmTech of a new joint marketing initiative.

The GLB Charolais and White Rose Limousin improvement groups have co-operated to secure a MAFF marketing grant. It is the first time cattle improvement groups have won such an award.

Both groups are committed to performance recording and selection to improve profits. Better promotion should enable the improvements undertaken by these groups to be more readily accepted and adopted by the whole industry.

Speaking at the shows "Breeding Quality for Profit" demonstration, John Rymer, managing director of Yorks-based JSR Farms, whose Givendale herd is part of the GLB group, said: "Technically both breeds are doing very well. The difficulty up to now has been knowing how to turn that improvement into a commercial opportunity. The grant should help us determine that."

Worth "several thousand" £, the grant is part of MAFFs market development scheme, under which the groups must match MAFF funding.The first stage will be a three-month feasibility study to investigate how to promote the groups high merit stock and secure a return on investment.

The completed study could help win more MAFF funding to finance the marketing.

"This promotional activity should benefit the whole industry," said GLB group secretary Richard Fuller. "By using superior genetic merit stock we have shown that the predicted benefits are achievable. For example, progeny from the top 1% beef value sires compared with those from the top 10% sires earn an extra £38 a head.

"Most commercial producers are using sires which do not even come into the top 10% category. This project will help us market our stock to them."

Jim Bloom of the White Rose Limousin group agreed: "It gives the opportunity to market facts behind the visual appraisal."

Both GLB and White Rose groups hope to establish superstuds of bulls comprising the highest performance recorded stock in the country.

Already GLB boasts seven of the top 10 Charolais sires on muscle score and White Rose 11% of the top cows on beef value.

&#8226 Livestock improvement groups win MAFF cash for first time.

&#8226 GLB Charolais and White Rose Limousin groups comprise 500 pedigree females.

&#8226 "Several thousand" £ grant to study promotion.

&#8226 Stock from top 1% beef value sires earn £38 a head more than those from top 10% sires.

White Rose Limousins Peter Lang (left) and GLBCharolaiss Richard Fuller have co-operated to secure a joint marketing grant to investigate how best to promote their high-indexing stock.