FOLLOWING an initial announcement made in December 2012, the Northern Ireland Limousin Cattle Club, in conjunction with Linden Foods of Dungannon, have made available further details and entry forms for their Limousin Carcase Competition to be held at Linden Foods, Dungannon on Tuesday 5th March 2013.
NI Club Chairman Derek Frew comments: “This new competition is to highlight the quality of carcase achieved in beef cattle when using Limousin breeding. Limousins are renowned for their ability to consistently produce carcases that meet the demands of the market, leaving profit at every link in the chain.
“In the current farming climate it has become expensive to rear store cattle and to earn a profit, so within the commercial market there is a need to breed cattle that add plenty of weight. The Limousin-cross has without doubt good calf vigour, excellent growth and when using quality Limousin genetics can hit the top weights and grades need to make profit,” he adds.
The competition will be open to all Limousin-bred cattle and judging will take place across four classes. There will be two classes for young commercial Limousin crossbred animals, with a class each for steers and heifers. The animals in these classes must be under 30 months and fall within the weight range of 260 to 380 kilos, and be farm quality assured. There will be a further two classes for cows: one for purebred registered cows and one for Limousin crossbred cows.
Each class will have a first, second and third prize consisting of £200, £100 and £50 respectively. As a special incentive to support the competition, and to illustrate the importance of producing carcases that meet supermarket specifications, Linden Foods will pay an additional 6p per kilo on all suitable Limousin cattle that are entered for the competition and fall within the above weight limits on the day.
A fundamental part of the British Limousin Cattle Society’s technical programme is to investigate the properties and qualities of the Limousin Beef product . Research has shown that the F94L “Profit” gene is found almost exclusively in Limousin cattle.
The gene, a modification of the myostatin gene, is shown to increase the weight of prime cuts by 19% and overall beef yield by 7%. It can also increase tenderness and animals with two copies of the gene consume the same amount of feed as animals with no copies of the gene so they are much more efficient at producing beef. The F94L gene also causes a 20 percent reduction in intramuscular fat and a 30 percent reduction in external fat cover resulting in healthier beef and higher yields of retail beef from each carcase.
Further research undertaken at Bristol University into the properties of Limousin beef to determine the level of fat and saturated fat, level of cholesterol and calorific value, has demonstrated that Limousins have higher levels of the “good” (unsaturated) fat and lower levels of ”bad” (saturated) fat. Through these dual pieces of research, Limousin beef is affirmed as a ‘heart-healthy’, lean beef product.
For further information, please telephone Heather Hume, NI club secretary, on 07850-603023.
Please note, any interested parties must book their animals into the Carcase Competition before closing 3.00pm Friday 1st March 2013 by phoning one of Linden Foods’ livestock buyers – either Brian Lynn (07831-296834) or David Lyons (07850-341977).