NI Limousin Cattle Club representative Jim Quail had the pleasure of visiting local dairy farmer William Cromie from Banbridge at his dairy and beef farm unit.
William, along with son Jonathan and farm helper David, works with approximately 350 head of cattle which consists of a 160 milk cow unit, replacement heifers and cattle for beef production.
The home farm has been in the family for three generations and with added conacre leaves a total of 230 acres. This allows William to manage his grass well with three good cuts of quality silage throughout the growing season to provide enough forage for the 180 days of winter feed.
William stated: “Good grass management gives good silage quality which leads to good performance. Silage is all tested to maximise production and we try to add in whole crop to the pitted silage which is used for our milk production.”
William likes to AI heifers with sexed semen first, if unsuccessful he tries AI again and then always runs a sweeper bull to those females who have not held.
William has used different breeds to his Holstein herd for a number of years but some bulls gave calving difficulties, which was proving costly, and some bulls were not easy to handle. This led him to look at the Limousin breed for an easy calving bull with a good temperament.
William commented: “I like a medium sized bull with shape, good feet and legs so that he stands the test of time.”
William went on to purchase a pedigree Limousin bull privately from Jim Quail four years ago and he is very pleased with the results: “I like the Limousin calves as they get up quick and start sucking and I have less hassle. The bull is quiet and easy to manage. I am very happy to use him on heifers as most of his calves are handy to calf.”
William may only have 20 to 30 females in calf to the Limousin bull and progeny are either sold as store cattle in the market or finished for factory beef.
The NI Limousin Cattle Club would like to thank William for taking the time to show us around his farm and have a chat. It was great to see another Limousin bull fulfilling his purpose, producing good calves and looking great in his working clothes.
The Club now looks forward to the next BLCS show and sale of pedigree bulls and females on Bank Holiday Monday, 2nd May at Ballymena market, sponsored by Ulster Bank Ltd and F Connon General Merchants.
The pre-show is being judged by Neil Martin at 10.00am followed by the sale at 1.00pm.
Catalogues are available online at www.limousin.co.uk or by contacting the Club Secretary on 07850603023.