The very well attended Suckler Information Evening held at Sixmilebridge Mart was very informative with helpful tips on beef breeding, market requirements and fodder management. In addition there was an excellent display of pedigree Limousin cattle from local breeders and the commercial cattle on hand demonstrated how the breed delivers profit at farm level.

Sean Ryan mart manager opened the forum followed by Irish Limousin’s Austin Finn who firstly gave an explanation of the new €uro Stars in advance of the Bull sale in Roscrea. He also highlighted how the breed is performing. Limousin is now number one beef breed in Ireland, it is a balanced easy calving breed that is suitable for all markets. Animal type and sire selection is an individual farmer choice. Research has proven the Limousin suckler cow to be best for fertility and calf performance, also there are Limousin bulls to satisfy all choices.

Aidan McHugh from the Teagasc Better Farm Programme highlighted the options available to deal with fodder concerns this winter and best pre housing management practices.

Rose Goulding from Munster AI outlined some of the sires they have available for the coming season, herself and Ray Hunt then took a live commercial demonstration. Commenting on a ¾ bred Limousin cow she explained that this was the ideal cow type with a good square pelvis, a nice tidy udder with calf friendly teats, and a nice feed efficient size and confirmation. Its ADX calf at foot just proved the point. The demonstration also compared heifers for beef and for breeding. Extreme muscling sires should not be used for breeding replacements, these being ideal for the weanling and beef markets when matched to suitable cows. Sire selection for breeding and easy calving requires a more balanced bull pointing at some very nice Ozeus and Vermeil heifers that could go for breeding or beef.

Maurice Carroll using one of Donal Moloney’s heifers demonstrated from where the various beef cuts come highlighting the importance of length and a good top loin as this is what determines the proportion and quality of steak cuts.

Closing the forum Ray Hunt thanked all those who brought cattle for display and demonstration purposes before finally handing out jackets to those who correctly guessed the weight of Paul Marsh’s bull.

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