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TAS Country : December 23rd 2010
Friday, December 24, 2010 Tasmanian Country 9 Stock Report Meaty milkers make comeback They may still be an unusual sight but if Tasmanian enthusiasts have anything to do with it dairy shorthorns will soon be off the rare breeds list. By Karolin MacGregor I remember when I was young going to stay with my grandfather and in those days they were just the normal breed that everyone had.' DUAL PURPOSE: A Dairy Shorthorn cow and calf at the Parkers' property near Forth. Pictures: KAROLIN MacGREGOR OVER the past few years interest in once popular dairy shorthorns has grown and now there are several breeders established across the state. Last week Dairy Shorthorn Association of Australia president Karen Doggett visited the state to meet up with some breeders and plan the association's annual general meeting. Ms Doggett said Tasmania was leading the way when it came to increasing dairy shorthorn cattle numbers, so it made sense that the association's AGM should be held here next year. The plan is to also have a field day in conjunction with the AGM which is expected to attract visitors and other breeders from mainland states. Ms Doggett said it would also be an opportunity for local breeders to network and give interested people a chance to have a look at the breed and find out more. A true dual purpose breed, dairy shorthorns were once the cattle of choice for many Australian farming families. Quiet with excellent temperaments, the dairy shorthorns were used for both milk production and also for meat. Ms Doggett said she first became a stud breeder after going to buy a bull for her cross breeding vealer operation. ''The bloke I went to buy the bull off had been a stud breeder for long time and was a stalwart of the Melbourne show,'' she said. ''He said to me that it would be a waste just using the bull for cross breeding because he had very good genetics and he was right, so I ended up buying a stud female as well.'' Ms Doggett has about 30 dairy shorthorns in her Drydens Run stud at Newham about an hour out of Melbourne. ''The biggest market at the moment to sell them is in Tassie,'' she said. Tony Parker and his wife Katrina live near Forth in the state's north west and have been breeding dairy shorthorns for about 10 years. Ms Doggett got to see the Parkers' herd first hand last week during her visit. ''I could see them disappearing so I decided I would try and get some,'' Mr Parker said. ''I remember when I was young going to stay with my grandfather and in those days they were just the normal breed that everyone had.'' The Parkers now have about 17 cows and calves and a bull. Ms Doggett said the aim of the association was to breed the traditional English type dairy shorthorns which have the distinctive large square shaped frame. Because of their excellent milk production some dairy shorthorns in the state are also being milked as part of dairy herds. ''They are quite a large framed cow with a lot of bone and a lot of fleshing on the bone,'' Ms Doggett said. ''Because they are so big there can be quite a good residual value selling the cull cows.'' Warwick and Betty Holmes were one of the first breeders to really start promoting dairy shorthorns after they rescued one that was going to be sent to the abattoir the next day. Now they have about 20 at their home at Western Creek, some of which are milked as part of their dairy herd. Ms Doggett said like many traditional breeds dairy short horns had gone out of fashion as more producers specialised in either beef or dairy production and did not require the dual purpose breed. ''Years ago when they were popular most families had them because they were ideal as a house cow,'' she said ''They could get a decent amount of milk out of them, but they could also rare a calf that they would eat down the track,'' she said. Ms Doggett said nowadays the majority of people that became involved with dairy shorthorns were passionate about the breed. While finding new genetics can sometimes be an issue with rare breeds, Ms Doggett said they had imported some semen from overseas bulls and semen that people had stored for many years. Ms Doggett said another nice thing about the breed was the variations in colour which can range from white to red and through to the popular roans. There are now about 30 members in the national association and Ms Doggett said if interest in Tasmania kept up that could soon increase. The AGM and field day will be next April. FORTHCOMING EVENTS f Tues 28 Dec N S f Tues 4th January Sm S Mon 10th January 11.30 am T m V m S Wed 12th January 12.30pm Weymouth Farm -- 5500 lambs 2.30pm Greenhythe -- 1500 lambs Enquiries: Greg Harris 0409 799 960 T F E S Fri 14th January M S ff & H m R m S Thurs 20th January CHRISTMAS TRADING HOURS: Elders will be closed on all gazetted public holidays only Seasons Greetings Elders wish all our clients and rural communities a safe and happy Christmas and a prosperous 2011 LIVESTOCK www.elders.com.au Phone: 6332 2302 2031595-101224 FOR SALE • acc breeder 50 Sept/Oct 2008 drop polled & dehorned Yaven Vale blood Hereford heifers SIC to low birth weight Yaven Vale bulls to calve from Feb 1st for 6 wks. Med frame av 500kg. $1,100 Images available • Quality 2t Rams inc Poll Dorset, White Suffolk, Hampshire, Southdown, Coopworth & Texel available WANTED TO BUY • New season British Bred Store Lambs • All Lines of store cattle SEASONS GREETINGS Mark & Reg wish all our clients a safe & happy Christmas & A prosperous 2011 ALL PRICES GST EXCL An independent, professional approach to livestock marketing Mark Webb 0458 973 590 Reg Woodiwiss 0448 961 591 Restockers challenge processors for stock VICTORIA'S livestock industry is set for a spectacular 2011. With sheep records rewritten on an almost weekly basis during this year, industry analysts now anticipate the weaner sales to kick off a huge year for cattle. Meat and Livestock Australia analyst Tim McRae said the past three years had set the scene for the 2011 cattle market. He said breeding rates and supply were so low that when the drought broke processors were always going to be overrun by restockers. ''It is still raining in the north and this lack of northern supply has to be pushing big buyers south so when the weaner sales get started we expect them to be red hot.'' Swift Australia spokesman John Berry refused to comment on the market other than to concede the processing industry faced some ''challenging conditions''. Sheepmeat processor Roger Fletcher, with major operations at Dubbo in NSW and Albany in Western Australia, said his business was down nine per cent in lambs but was hammered in mutton, with numbers down 45 per cent at one stage, although they had rebounded. ''There are no surplus sheep anywhere, not just here but also in South America, South Africa, China and Europe. None.'' Mr McRae believes the downturn in the national flock ''may have bottomed out''. ''Feedback from our lamb survey shows producers are rebuilding, and there is no doubt the lamb and sheep turnoff is falling,'' he said. ''But numbers are so low we still expect the flock to hover around 70 million for the next three to five years.'' The Weekly Times
December 16th 2010
January 6th 2011