More and more dairy farmers using Limousin to maximise farm profit.
Using a Limousin bull on dairy cows is an excellent choice to increase farm profit. It makes no sense to use dairy breeds on all cows, especially with improved sexed semen technology, low male calf value, and that not all cows would in the norm be selected to breed dairy replacements.
Research and market feedback has confirmed that dairy beef is both inefficient and costly to produce, and difficult to market.
The obvious options are then either Limousin or the traditional breeds. The traditional breeds even if bonus prices are achieved will not deliver sufficient weight or carcase grade for age and the female suckler replacement option is limited.
Limousin is easy calving, the calves are easy to rear and market, the sometimes slightly longer gestation is more than compensated for.
Farmers doing their figures are seeing the clear benefit of Limousin. Male progeny are feed efficient producing carcase quality and weight for age to give high end prices. Female progeny have a beef or suckler replacement option. Demand for LM FR breeding heifers exceeds supply.
Eddie O’Riordan Chief Teagasc Researcher, Grange is of the opinion that the LM FR cross is the gold star for suckler breeding, using a Limousin bull on dairy cows is a profitable option for farmers.
Dairy farmer Gerard Larkin, Cloughjordan, Tipperary uses Limousin to produce suckler replacements. He sells these at 18 months in the Roscrea breeding heifer sale. Every year there are numerous customers looking for this type of animal. This year his heifers weighed 480kg and sold for €1,220.
Highly respected suckler farmer Jim Parkinson, New Inn uses LM FR cows to produce his ideal suckler cow 3/4LM and 1/4FR. Jim offered some surplus maiden heifers for sale at this years Roscrea breeding heifer sale achieving €1,600 for 520kg. These were snapped up by some serious suckler operators from Laois, Kildare and Kerry.
Leslie Hopkins from Nurney in Carlow uses Limousin on his dairy cows. He brings the offspring to beef achieving good factory weights and R grades.
Michael Brennan a dairy farmer from Paulstown, Kilkenny finds that using a Limousin bull, on cows not selected for breeding dairy replacements, to be a winning formula. The calves are born trouble free with the cows and heifers loosing no milking time. Michael is consistently delighted with the performance of his Limousin cross calves from day one, and each year he has numerous market options.
Dairy farmer Derek Ryan Herbertstown in Limerick has been using Limousin for many years. Apart from top market returns the real bonus for Derek is unassisted calving and a calf that is up on its feet and sucking in a few minutes.