More premium cattle passing through local plants
The number of premium breeds of cattle such as Hereford and Aberdeen Angus passing through local processing plants has increased, according to the Livestock and Meat Commission for Northern Ireland (LMC).
During the first four months of 2020 Aberdeen Angus cattle accounted for 22 per cent of price reported prime cattle in Northern Ireland. This proportion has been steadily increasing in recent years in line with increased calf registrations.
The number of Hereford cattle passing through local processing plants has also been increasing, although not to the same extent as the number of Aberdeen Angus cattle. During 2020 to date Hereford cattle accounted for seven per cent of prime cattle throughput in local price reporting plants, a proportion that has also been steadily growing.
According to the LMC, premiums available at the point of slaughter for some native bred cattle such as Aberdeen Angus and Hereford have encouraged an increase in these genetics on both the local beef and dairy herds. This trend can also be observed in GB and ROI.
Many of the major processing plants have schemes and bonuses in place for Aberdeen Angus cattle while a few also have schemes in place for Hereford cattle.
There is some variability in the bonuses available for these native bred cattle across the plants while there are also some key differences in the specification’s cattle are required to meet, particularly in terms of weight and age which may require producers to make changes to current farming systems.