Giving farmers the confidence to be able to use estimated breeding values as a tool to look under the bonnet of stock they are purchasing is the aim of a new series of training workshops next month.
Quality Meat Scotland, in conjunction with SAC, is holding two free EBV training workshops for suckler beef producers on February 1 in Stirling and February 2 in Dumfries.
The workshops are being led by SAC’s beef specialist team, who will give a brief presentation on the use and interpretation of EBVs in pedigree beef cattle.
EBVs provide information on which bulls will breed calves that will maximise returns for the store producer and finisher.
The performance information is available to allow bulls to be chosen for their ability to produce offspring which are good milky replacement heifers, judge which bulls are best to be used with heifers to avoid calving difficulties and see which bulls are the best to use for beef production.
SAC Beef Specialist Gavin Hill said, “The workshops will allow active participation and so help producers in attendance gain a better understanding and ability to use EBVs.
“I would urge any producer thinking of buying a breeding bull, whether it be for maternal or terminal use, to contact the relevant SAC office and book a place at these workshops.”
With the countdown to the spring bull sales underway, these workshops will provide vital information on the EBV figures on display.
QMS Livestock Development Manager Kathy Peebles said: “Previous workshops were deemed extremely useful by those who attended them. We look forward to many more producers leaving these workshops with an improved understanding of performance recording, and why they should use it as an essential decision making tool when buying a breeding bull.”
The details of the two workshops are:
• Tuesday 1st February 2011 – Stirling Agricultural Centre, Stirling, FK9 4RN To book place contact SAC Stirling 01786 450964
• Wednesday 2nd February 2011 – Woodland House Hotel, Newbridge, Dumfries , DG2 0HZ (North of Dumfries on A76) To book place contact SAC Dumfries 01387 261172
Time: 11am to 3.30pm
Attendance at these workshops is free.