February 2022 Newsletter
AGM - Friday, 11th March 2022 at 7pm
Just a reminder of a date for your diaries – hopefully in person!
It would be most useful if those of you who have not yet done so, could furnish us with your e-mail address as this will make a considerable saving for the Club. Please forward to David Armett on email@example.com.
National British Friesian Show, Carlisle 12th March 2022
Once again, fingers crossed!
Please start thinking about your photographs and ads for this year’s issue as the closing date is the end of April. Perhaps, a polite reminder that the brochure is for promoting our breed, so please pay attention to clean legs and general presentation for the photographs.
Herd Visits to Scotland
We do so hope that the herd visits will go ahead this summer. Dates to be advised.
We would like to take this opportunity to extend our thanks to Bill for his most valuable contribution and support of the British Friesian Breed. From his days with the MMB, and then within Genus Breeding, he has worked tirelessly to select and promote British Friesians, travelling the length and breadth of the UK, in so doing. It is entirely due to his efforts that their British Friesian stud has expanded from his early days. We wish him well in his retirement and hope that he will be able to follow his interest in Athletics for many years to come! He has been introducing his replacement, Fiona Wilshaw, where possible, and we all look forward to meeting her. Her contact details are Fiona.Wilshaw@genusbreeding.com.
NMR / Uniform has incorrect Breed designations
For those of you who use Uniform and follow the Ancestry information, Dutch Friesians remain designated as Holsteins in the Ancestry Records. NMR have long promised to redesignate, and we are still waiting…
Nothing in particular to report from the December run. Those of us who follow the Proof Runs are tracking genetic bulls as they accrue real time data, on their way to a more reliable proof. We are also following with interest the progress of young outcross bulls, as their daughters calve in this season. It is rather too early yet, and we hope to get a better indication in April. Type can also be followed via HUK, searching the Bull’s progeny, for classified heifers, before any official figures are available. Most of the Genetics group have either served or flushed the chosen cows and the first little bull calf has recently been born, Bradash Challenger. AHDB - Register your VOTE As we know, farmers have very mixed opinions of this organization, but it could be said that it is ours and it is up to us to make it more responsive to our needs. ‘Talking up’ our Industry is one that farmers would appreciate, and it is good to see a start has been made with advertising in the national newspapers. To the outsider, the organization looks top heavy with too many office- based staff and not enough people out in the field. An example would be the past lack of emphasis on soil quality and grassland management, the latter being handed over to an LIC adviser but of course they have a vested interest in the promotion of NZ genetics (now presenting problems with unviable bull calves, see below.) IT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL THAT EVALUATIONS ARE INDEPENDENT OF COMMERCIAL INTERESTS, (however much you might disagree with the methodology).
AHDB/NFU Webinar - Dairy Bull Calf Strategy
Dairy bull calves will no longer be allowed to be euthanised by 2023. In order to help farmers whose choice of breed presents problems, AHDB have launched an initiative, jointly with the NFU, and with co-operation from the wider Industry to deal with this, and the recent webinar was very informative. It was good to hear the Auctioneer confirm the better quality of British Friesian calves. A cross with British Friesian is certainly an option to put more substance into the frailer and smaller animals and reports of increased sales, particularly in areas where Spring Calving is practiced, are reported. It remains to be seen as to whether the increased amounts of young, grain-fed cattle will find a place in the market. Our sought after pure or beef x steers continue to provide that wonderful flavour that grass-based systems deliver!
ELMS / Regenerative Agriculture
As we await the detail as to how our individual businesses will be affected by such dramatic changes, we can, at least, count our assets. We have a cow which is renowned for good fertility and lifespan helping to spread replacement costs. This, together with the contribution from grazing systems to carbon capture from milking cows, youngstock and beef, are all points in our favour.