'You won't get the quality from the calves coming off Holstein cows'
A 40-cow suckler farmer, operating a calf to beef system, produced a 22-month-old Limousin cross heifer off a dairy cow to take the top award in the Limousin Cross off Dairy Cows category of the competition.
The 308kg R=4- heifer, was supplied by Kenneth B Connors, Spruce Hill House, Roscrea and was one of the 15 to 20 continental crosses off dairy herds, being finished each year beside the sucklers in the herd.
As a calf she was purchased at Thurles Mart, where she was described as "coming off a British Friesian herd" on which he targets his purchases each year.
"I try to get the calves off the good British Friesian herds, because it is very hard to get an R grade off the crosses with Holstein. Thurles is a good place to get calves off the British Friesian herds," said Mr Connors.
The heifer was finished on 4kg concentrates a day for the final three months and realised €1,330 in the factory.
"I haven't done the figures on it, but I know that the margin is tight at that. It is costly to bring them through the first year.
"With milk replacer, plus the cost of the calf, I reckon she was standing me about €530 at six months," he said.
"The good calves off the British Friesian cows are in demand and they are costing that bit extra in the mart, but you won't get the quality from the calves coming off the Holstein cows. They will be O grade and that makes a difference," he explained.