THE Moree Holstein herd has long been recognised as comprising cows with an absolutely impeccable pedigree, but with a unique ability to perform tremendously well under commercial conditions.
Owned by the Kelso family, from the Rock in South Co Tyrone, the current milking group comprises 200 plus cows – all of which would be much sought after by pedigree and commercial breeders in equal measure.
So here comes the good news. Next Wednesday, May 2nd, will see the entire milking herd at Moree Holsteins come under the auctioneer’s hammer. The sale, which will be co-ordinated by Michael Taaffe, will be held at the Kelso farm – commencing at 11.00am.
But why has the decision been taken to hold this complete dispersal sale now? Jonathan Kelso took up the story for Farming Life earlier this week.
“We are certainly not getting out of milk,” he stressed.
“In fact the very opposite is the case. We have 100 plus heifers calving this autumn and, given these circumstances, we thought now would be a good time to decrease our overall numbers.
“Once we had made up our mind to reduce numbers, we did not want other breeders to think that we were simply letting go the stock we didn’t want; hence the decision to sell the entire milking group.”
The Moree Herd contains a number of the leading cow families to be found on the island of Ireland at the present time. All of the animals have been confirmed as being BVD Virus Negative. In addition the entire herd is regularly vaccinated for Lepto and IBR.
“All the cattle within the herd are immediately available for export to the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain,” Jonathan Kelso further explained.
“In addition to the milking group, we will also be offering a number of breeding bulls, heifer calves and embryos.
“We have developed the herd over a number of years with the aim of breeding highly functional cows with excellent components and with an inherent ability to remain in production over a long number of lactations.”
The Moree cows are currently averaging at 9,550 litres at 4.48% butterfat and 3.38% protein. In fact the herd currently holds the Number 1 ranking for fat and protein above 9,500 litres in Northern Ireland in the 100 plus cow category.
“The cows are milked twice daily and offered a straightforward forage source of grass silage or grazed grass,” Jonathan’s brother Andrew confirmed.
“We do not molly coddle our elite cows. Every animal in the herd receives exactly the same level and type of management. Over recent years we have bred cows capable of producing higher quality milk, with equal emphasis put on good feet and legs. And it’s a policy that has paid off.”
Bulls selected by Jonathan, Andrew and their father Bertie over recent years include Leif, Mascol, Wyman and Guarini. A number of genomically selected sires have been used on the herd.
The catalogue for next week’s event will provide compulsive reading –from cover to cover – for anyone with an interest in dairy cattle breeding. A number of the cows catalogued are closely related to former ‘World Cows of the Year. Also featuring will be MOREE MASCOL MARQ I. She is now (EX93-2E) with an amazing (EX96) mammary system. This makes her the highest scored daughter of the famous German AI Bull, MASCOL, not just in the UK – but the highest scored Mascol daughter in the world.
It’s easy to take for granted what the likes of the Kelso family have achieved over recent years in setting new breeding standards for the Holstein breed. Profits are rarely recognised in their own back yards. But the good news is that elite breeding organisations in other countries are fully aware of the elite genetics to be found within the Moree herd. A case in point was the recent purchase of a Kelso bred Logan son, by Top Q in Germany.
In essence, next Wednesday’s sale represents the chance of a lifetime for dairy farmers to invest in breeding stock that represents the very pinnacle of black and white breeding. This latter point is, perhaps, best reflected in the inclusion for sale of Reggie Baler Twine (VG 87). This daughter of Moree Braedale Baler Twine is due at sale time to Iota with her third calf. The fact that she is a maternal sister to Braedale Goldwyn and Gen-I-Beque makes her very special indeed.
Jonathan Kelso concluded: “Next Wednesday’s sale reflects the entire scope of our breeding strategies for the herd over recent years.
“We will be delighted to facilitate all viewing enquiries prior to the event.”
For further information, telephone Jonathan Kelso on 07729 218 118. The sale catalogue can be viewed online at: www.moreeholsteins.com.