North Yorkshire Simmental breeder and AHDB Beef and Lamb Knowledge Exchange Manager Sarah Pick NSch 2019 has published her Nuffield Farming Report titled ‘Heifer replacement strategies: Cost reduction in the UK suckler beef herd’. Her study was sponsored jointly by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and The Worshipful Company of Butchers.
- Create a blueprint for managing beef heifers to calve successfully at two years of age
- Understand the selection criteria required to develop a functional suckler cow
- Explore the changes the UK suckler industry must make to ensure it has a sustainable future
Canada, USA, Australia, Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Scotland
- If it is to survive, the UK suckler beef industry must find ways of reducing cost.
- Ensuring all heifers calve at 2 years is one of the key areas where cost can be reduced.
- Most beef producing countries have been calving heifers at two years of age since the 1970s.
- The success of calving heifers at two years of age is driven by nutrition, genetics and effective selection.
- The industry must refocus attention from terminal traits to improving maternal attributes if it is to improve the reproductive efficiency of the UK suckler herd.