Beef cattle breeders from St Buryan to Bude attended the seventh commercial open day organised by Cornwall Simmental Club on Sunday 9th September. Warmly welcomed by Phil and Lesley Martyn Uglow at Hornacott Farm, Boyton, Launceston the event was sponsored by the British Simmental Society.
The farm tour was preceded by a talk given by Philip Warren of Warren Butchers who emphasised the importance of producing meat to meet the changing trends of today’s and future buyers needs which are underpinned by a growing awareness of welfare and health concerns for sentient beings. The discerning customer was prepared to pay for quality over quantity and he went on to highlight the value of the British Simmental making the following points:
· Breeders should promote the benefits of hybrid vigour offered by Simmental terminal sires when used across native breeds thereby improving the gene pool of milky dams capable of raising early finishing grass fed progeny
· The eating quality of meat is globally recognised as being influenced by maternal genetics. Breeders will be rewarded in the future for a consistent, premium product already sought by leading chefs in the restaurants across England which his business sources for them
He concluded by urging breeders to consider the size of the cattle they are aiming for as bigger is not better for the cuts of meat his customers prefer.
The visit continued in wonderful sunshine as ninety suckler cows and their progeny were viewed. Phil Martyn Uglow explained the successful changes in breeding policy the family had made by crossing both Simmental and Charolais sires on a range of native breeds and putting the retained breeding females back to a Simmental bull.
A group of Simmental cross heifers due to calve at twenty two to twenty four months old typified the stamp of cattle desired. Mothering ability coupled with the renowned docility and fertility of the Simmental breed have justified the decisions made.
Robust suckled calves due to be weaned will fulfil the desired specifications outlined by the guest speaker.