Beef bull choices for 2024

LIC Ireland highlights three key New Zealand studs, where farmers are already reaping the rewards of choosing Angus, Charolais or Hereford beef bulls.

Risslington - Angus beef bulls

Risslington Angus beef bull Paradox available through LIC Ireland
Angus beef bull Risslington Paradox

Rissington has been LIC Ireland’s SGL Angus supplier for the past few years. During this time a large number of calves have since hit the ground in Ireland, as these bulls have proven to be very popular. The Rissington Cattle Company, with over 140 years farming in the Hawke’s Bay, specialises in producing high-quality carcasses. They place a strong emphasis on eye muscle area (muscling) and intramuscular fat (marbling) of their beef, while also meticulously recording the feed efficiency of their bulls. In the 1980s, they began importing embryos from Canada and have since maintained a steadfast commitment.

Kakahu - Charolais beef bulls

Charolais beef bull Kakahu Milestone
Charolais beef bull Kakahu Milestone

In 2023, LIC Ireland introduced Kakahu Charolais as a new option for Irish farmers, inspired by their impressive offspring observed on NZ farms the previous October. They quickly gained popularity last spring, and now their calves are being born. Early reports from our farmers suggest that there are cows calving up to 14 days earlier than their expected calving dates. These bulls are a great option for easy calving and colour-marking, while also enhancing muscle and conformation to dairy beef carcasses. They are a popular choice as a terminal sire in commercial beef operations in NZ, making them a well-proven option for dairy-to-beef. Additionally, all LIC Charolais bulls are homozygous polled, providing further benefits. 

Shrimpton's Hill - Hereford beef bulls

Beef bulls from Shrimpton's Hill Herefords
Shrimpton's Hill Herefords

The Shrimpton’s Hill short gestation breeding programme, established in 2001, focuses on selecting bulls specifically for the dairy semen markets. In the 2019 season, they achieved a significant milestone by selling their 1 millionth straw of Hereford semen, becoming the first Hereford stud in the world to achieve this. Shrimpton’s Hill stands as the largest supplier of beef genetics to the national dairy herd in New Zealand, siring well over 100,000 calves annually. In Ireland, these bulls have been impressing farmers with calves arriving approximately 10 days early, with very easy calving, resulting in highly marketable offspring. Importantly, the cows are spending more days in milk.

Contact your LIC Ireland Breeding Advisor to talk about beef options for your herd.

by Michelle Lamerton
International Marketing Coordinator
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