Low input steers yield high returns

23 March 2001

Low input steers yield high returns

ABERDEEN Angus steers on a low-cost system using just £34.50 worth of concentrates have been leaving a margin of almost £1000/head.

This impressive return was achieved by Shropshire beef producer Neil Dobson, who runs 35 pure Aberdeen Angus and 45 Belgian Blue-cross cows at Kynnersley, near Telford.

His purebred spring-born steers were finished last autumn and sold deadweight. Bound for the AA branded beef range at Waitrose stores, steers achieved an average price of £792/head. They also received two BSP payments totalling £191, including extensification, and a slaughter premium of £17. Total return was £1000 apiece.

During the first summer on their dams, calves were not offered any creep feed and were wintered on silage and 2kg of concentrates a day for the 150-day winter at a total cost of £34.50. During the final grass finishing period no concentrates were fed.

"Beef producers looking to improve profitability should consider the potential of the Angus to perform as a low-input, high-output breed. Steers are easily fed on low-cost rations and the end product commands a substantial premium," says Mr Dobson.

His beef enterprise is one of the most profitable currently being recorded by Signet, which has produced projections for two Aberdeen Angus sired calves bred out of Mr Dobsons Belgian Blue-cross cows.

Signet figures forecast a return of £1108 for a steer, based on a carcass weight of 370kg with U classification at 220p/kg plus two BSP payments totalling £247, including extensification and a £47 slaughter premium.

Predicted return from the heifer was £670 based on a carcass weight of 290kg, R4L classification, price of 215p/kg and a £47 slaughter premium. &#42

Pure bred Aberdeen Angus calves on a low input, minimal concentrate system achieve returns of up to £1000 on a Shropshire beef unit.

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