Farm Ireland

Monday 19 March 2018

In-calf heifers off to Kazakhstan

Declan O'Brien

Declan O'Brien

A new export market has opened up for in-calf beef heifers after Roscommon-based shipper Hubert Maxwell secured a contract to export up to 900hd to beef units in Kazakhstan.

The contract is for in-calf pedigree Angus and Hereford heifers, with the sourcing of suitable stock being carried out with the co-operation of the Irish Angus Society and the Hereford Society.

Mr Maxwell said he was looking for pedigree stock which were in-calf for at least two months and were scanned to prove it.

The heifers were being sourced from farms that were free from TB for the past three years and that were also clear of BVD, IBR and Johne's.

He has around 450 sourced already, with the stock being assembled at his farm in Ballinagare, Castlerea.

The cattle must be held for 21 days in quarantine before being shipped, he said.

The trade, which has Department of Agriculture and Bord Bia approval, has the potential to take significant numbers if the price and quality are right, Mr Maxwell insisted.

"There is a lot of scope in the business if we get the co-operation of breeders," he said.

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The export contract is being handled by a company called Hunland Trading, which is working with a government-sponsored beef operation in Kazakhstan.

Mr Maxwell is paying €1,000 for stock, with €1,100 offered for better-quality heifers. He said farmers would be paid on delivery of cattle to his farm or other agreed collection centres.

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