In addition, membership rose by 11% to 842, a 42% increase in the last five years, society president, Geoff Riby told the annual meeting in Stirling.
Furthermore, those trends were mirrored in the 2016 BCMS published data which shows that over the last seven years, UK Beef Shorthorn and Beef Shorthorn cross populations have increased by a massive 64%, more than double the percentage increase in populations of the next highest breed.
Geoff Riby, of the Stonehills herd, Bridlington, East Yorkshire was re-elected president, and Sally Horrell, Pode Hole herd, Thorney, Peterborough vice president.
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Mr Riby commented: “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to champion the Beef Shorthorn, which is bucking the trend for Continental breeds and quite clearly meeting with commercial producers’ requirements for a functional suckler cow that demonstrates calving ease, docility and milkiness and is suited to low input forage based systems. These demand trends have been confirmed by the latest BCMS data which shows that the number of Beef Shorthorn sired cattle is increasing faster than any other breed, both native and Continental.
“Furthermore, increasing demand from Morrisons for pure and crossbred Beef Shorthorn steers, previously a herd by-product, continues to encourage a valued premium, and these trends are scheduled to persist as the supermarket gears up to rebrand its current Signature beef to Beef Shorthorn.
“New for 2015 was the Society’s type classification scheme designed to enable members to accelerate breed progress and offer an improved functional suckler cow. Take up has been a massive success. Within six months of August launch, over 1,000 animals were classified by independent professional classifiers, whilst a further 60 herds are currently on the waiting list.
“We launched our inaugural young bull promotion scheme offering breeders the opportunity for rapid genetic progress and improved connectivity for maternal traits. Semen has been provided free of charge to 20 performance recorded herds. We have also launched a study among commercial producers with over 1,000 suckler cows in total to more clearly define Beef Shorthorn suckler cow efficiency.”
He added: “There is no doubt in my mind that Beef Shorthorn offers so many opportunities for farmers whether they run specialist suckler herds, beef finishing units or rearing farms.”