Farm Ireland

Monday 18 December 2017

Society to spread Charolais message

Charolais cattle are Ireland's and Europe's number one beef breed, a dominant market position that the Irish Charolais Cattle Society will be highlighting at their stand at the Ploughing Championships.

Society secretary Nuala Hourihane points out that the daily liveweight gain and feed conversion efficiency of the Charolais are the top attractions to cattle finishers -- but there are several other factors at play.

"These include weanling market suitability, Charolais cull-cow values and the use of Charolais-cross females for the suckler herd," she says.

"Other drivers include the beef carcass value under the Quality Payment System, their structural soundness for Irish conditions and their longevity and docility."

The overall aim of the Charolais Society stand at the Ploughing Championships is to focus on the breed's contribution to profitable commercial farming and the options it gives to farmers. The stand's tagline is "Charolais -- more markets, more options, more often".

The Charolais bull sales results held firm throughout the spring sales season, with average prices hovering around the €2,800 mark and top prices in excess of €4,000/hd.

The Christmas Cracker sale at Carrick-on-Shannon last December provided a major boost to the breed when the National Cattle Breeding Centre (NCBC) paid €24,000 for a yearling bull bred in Co Tipperary by Anne Marie Butler.

'Cottage Devon' had been a major prize winner at shows right throughout the summer, and his semen is now available from NCBC.

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Visitors to the Charolais stand in Athy can pick up copies of the annual newsletter, which will have up-to-date information on the breed, details of semen available, sales dates, and a full report and pictures from the Charolais National Show.

The stand also features a display of top prize winners, pedigree and commercial from the Tullamore Livestock Show and this year's National Show.

One lucky visitor will go home with a top-quality commercial heifer. Tickets for the draw can only be purchased on the Charolais stand and the draw will take place on Thursday afternoon at the event.

Upcoming sales dates for the society include Tullamore on November 6, Ennis on November 27 and the Christmas Cracker at Carrick-on-Shannon on December 4, which will be a pre-inspected sale this year.

Irish Independent