Cattle breeders are being offered the chance to profit from the genetics of their top bulls by selling semen direct to other farmers.
UK Sires Direct – a move by UK Sire Services into the direct marketing of dairy and beef semen – hopes to shorten the supply chain by cutting out the middle men and selling semen direct from the stud to the farmer.
After years of semen collection, storage, distribution and export, UK Sire Services’ considers the move into online direct sales the “logical next step”.
It says the website – where farmers can purchase a straw a semen for as little as £4 – offers farmers a way into herds with bloodlines that are otherwise inaccessible.
“We have not only shortened the supply chain, enabling us to offer semen at very competitive prices, but we have also opened the way for the UK’s top dairy and beef breeders to market semen from their best bulls while retaining their ownership of these animals,” says Rob Wills, who founded the company with Pete Sherwen of Scawfell Genetics.
“Offering a sales network of this nature for farmer-owned bulls is a first for the industry, and means farmers can potentially achieve high levels of income from their top genetic merit bulls, while buyers will have wider access to the country’s best bloodlines.”
Beef and dairy semen from renowned international sources, such as LIC (New Zealand), Bayern Genetik (Germany) and Viking Genetics (Scandinavia), is available alongside British and Irish offerings – giving UK Sires Direct what it calls the “widest choice of breeds of any breeding company in the UK”.
“We believe our portfolio is the most eclectic of any AI company’s in the UK and – as an organisation run by former and current dairy and beef producers – we have been careful to select our sires from a breeder’s rather than a corporate perspective,” says Mr Wills.