26th January 2015

Commercial Producers Urged to Make Most of Bull Selection Guide

Quality Meat Scotland (QMS) is urging commercial beef producers to take advantage of a “Bull Selection Made Simple” guide to assist them with the selection of the right bull for their herds.

Ahead of the main bull sales, the updated free guide offers commercial farmers the opportunity to learn more about Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) and how they can be used to select the right bull for their farms.

The QMS guide, collated with support from SAC Consulting (a division of SRUC, Scotland’s Rural College), provides beef farmers with an easy-to-access reference on selecting a bull using EBVs.

“The guide takes readers through what to look for when selecting your bull, depending on whether he is being bought to produce store cattle, finished cattle or to breed heifer replacements,” said Robert Gilchrist, a Knowledge Transfer Specialist with QMS.

While the stockman’s eye is very important, it can’t tell potential buyers what lies within a bull. This is where EBVs can assist buyers to select bulls that will help them to fully exploit the potential of their herd.

The Guide urges readers to do their homework at least a week before going to a sale when most auction companies make catalogues available online. Alternatively, it should be possible to ask for a copy of the catalogue to be sent.

Breed society websites also have excellent trait selection systems that can be used to help find bulls that have the traits you require. Breeders will also display the EBV data as bar charts; located above their bulls at the actual sale.”

The Guide also urges farmers to ask the seller of the bull if there is anything they don’t understand as it is in their interest to ensure that they have as many potential purchasers for their bulls as possible.

To obtain a free copy of “Bull Selection Made Simple – a Guide For The Commercial Buyer” contact QMS on 0131 472 4040. It is also available to download by clicking on the document to the right or by clicking here

QMS has also been running a series of free workshops offering commercial beef farmers the opportunity to gain a better understanding of EBVs, with the final workshop taking place in St Boswells on 28th January.

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