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Irish Limousin Cattle Society, Kilglass, Mitchelstown, Co. Cork

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Carcase competitions serve to display the quality of Irish beef cattle, help to maximises price to farmers, and are a very useful beef marketing tool.

Limousin has always been associated with carcase quality. In many countries the breed is promoted through carcase competitions rather than live showing. In Ireland we have a strong tradition of live showing and a growing interest in carcase competitions.

Of the 1.4m beef calves born annually over 70% end up being slaughtered at Irish Meat plants as young prime beef.

Destination of Ireland’s Beef Calves

Calf Exports

10,000

0.7%

Weanling Exports

100,000

7.1%

Breeding or Fwd Store Exports

40,000

2.9%

Slaughtered as Young Bulls

210,000

15.0%

Slaughtered as Steers

420,000

30.0%

Slaughtered as Heifers

350,000

25.0%

Retained for Breeding

220,000

15.7%

Other

50,000

3.6%

 

1,400,000

100%

We have 1.1 million Suckler cows and 1.4 million beef calves born annually (400k from the dairy herd).

The December 2012 Limousin heifer carcase competitions hosted by Ashbourne Meats proved to be a tremendous success from both a quality and meat marketing view point. Judge was Jim Hewitt who was looking for a balanced U/R grade carcase with a nice fat cover, by balance he means having both a good round and a long deep loin (good top loin).

He focuses on the premium end Dutch market. Beef is a high end and expensive meat protein so quality is key in supplying the premium end of the market. Carcasses selected for this premium Dutch market are dry aged on the hook in the traditional way for two weeks and then aged for an additional four weeks in the vac pac to maximize eating quality and flavor.

Limousin carcasses are particularly attractive due to their consistent quality, good kill out %, and excellent boning yield. Discussions are on going with the Dutch to establish a price premium for Limousin cattle.

In the Beef Heifer competition the top prizes went to home bred animals finished from suckler herds. First was Margaret Lehane Cork with a 352kg U3 heifer from her almost pure Limousin cows by her Limousin stock bull. Second was Tipperary man John Fitzpatrick with a 326kg U3 from his white head cows and sired by one of his Limousin stock bulls. Third place went to another suckler farmer David Lewis.

In the aged heifer class including once calved, first prize went to Limerick man John Oliver Mann with Patrick Sheahan second and John Costello third.

Other prize winners included Kenneth Connors, Patrick Higgins, Seamus Carew, Edward Tynan, and Brendan Curtin.

Beef Heifer Under 24 months

Place

Grade

Cold Weight kg

Age months

Owner

First

U+3+

352

22

Dermot & Margaret Lehane

Second

U+3-

326

20

John Fitzpatrick

Third

R+3+

305

20

David Samuel Lewis

Fourth

U=3=

305

19

Patrick Noel Higgins

Fifth

R+3-

332

20

Seamus Carew

Sixth

R+3=

328

16

Richard Kiely

Seventh

R+3-

304

23

Kyran Foran

Beef Heifer 25 to 30 months

Place

Grade

Cold Weight kg

Age months

Owner

First

U+4-

350

27

Kenneth B Connors

Second

U+3+

318

27

Liam Bergin

Third

U-3+

370

27

Kenneth B Connors

Fourth

U=3-

317

28

Edward Tynan

Over Age Heifer including Once Calved

Place

Grade

Cold Weight kg

Age months

Owner

First

U+4-

412

31

John Oliver Mann

Second

U=3+

418

38

Patrick Sheahan

Third

U=3=

365

31

John Costello

Fourth

U=3-

356

31

Edward Tynan

Fifth

U=4-

323

34

Delacy Byrne

Sixth

U=2+

346

34

Brendan Curtin

Seventh

R+3-

351

38

Michael McLoughlin

It was interesting that some R grade heifers were placed ahead of U grade, Jim said he didn’t look at the grade but the overall balance, cut yield, fat cover and meat colour.

Also of note was the level of quality not placed, most of which were still premium carcases and will be heading to premium outlets.

Michael O'Grady, Danny Houlihan, Kevin Bohan, Peter McMahon, Jim Hewitt and Donal Houlihan at the Irish Limousin Ashbourne Meats Carcass Competition

 

Certified Irish Limousin Striploins

Certified Irish Limousin Striploins

 

Jim Hewitt and John Fitzpatrick with second place beef heifer

Jim Hewitt and John Fitzpatrick with second place beef heifer

 

John Oliver Mann with his winning carcase

John Oliver Mann with his winning carcase

 

Limousin carcasses ageing in Ashbourne chills

Limousin carcasses ageing in Ashbourne chills

 

Viewing results at the Heifer Carcase Competition

Viewing results at the Heifer Carcase Competition

 

 

 

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Tel: 353 (0)25-85036

Fax: 353 (0)25-85060

Email: admin@irishlimousin.com

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