Farm Ireland

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Salers Society says breed is top choice for cutting costs and increasing profits

More and more farmers are choosing the Salers breed to minimise their costs and maximise their profits, the Salers Society maintains.

"Salers are known for ease of calving because of low birth weight and a large pelvis. Trials at Teagasc have shown that a non-assisted calving produces a shorter calving interval by raising the cow's conception rate by 6pc over a cow with an assisted calving," explains Meryl Gillespie.

"The same trials show that a short calving interval, four months or less, can produce 61kg LW/LU over a calving interval of five months or more."

Farmers serious about producing a weanling for the export market are using Salers to reduce the production cost of the weanling and focusing on the relationship between breeding and profit, she maintains.

The Salers Society recently launched its breed development programme, in which the top pedigree breeding cows in the country will be mated with either two or three proven progeny-tested AI bulls or proven stock bulls in the breeder's own herd. The calves will then be performance tested in the Tully Test Station.

"Both these bulls and heifers should be the foundation for driving the breed forward in the future in Ireland and also strengthen Ireland's position as an exporter of pedigree Salers cattle," explains Meryl.

Demand for pedigree Salers cattle has increased over the past few years and in October of last year a new sale record was set at €5,800 for "Brownhall Impressive", a 20-month-old Salers heifer owned by James McGroarty from Brownhall, Ballintra, Co Donegal.

This year, the breed has also recorded an increased demand in Britain for Irish breeding stock.

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Members of the Salers council will be present on the stand at the Ploughing Championships to answer any questions.

Irish Independent