by LIC's Casey Inverarity, Bull Acquisition Manager
Behind every good bull there's an innovative breeder with a story and LIC's Short Gestation Length (SGL) Hereford team is no exception.
It all started way back in 2001, around a South Island in the Hereford SGL space LIC quickly recognised there kitchen table, when forward thinking farmers John and was one set of breeders who stood out from the rest. Liz Mckerchar of Shrimpton's Hill Herefords discussed From there a partnership was formed. the idea of breeding bulls with shorter gestations.
Article by: PAT DEAVOLL
Short gestation cattle genetics is set to generate $11 million in extra milk production for hard-hit dairy farmers this spring, and John and Liz McKerchar’s South Canterbury hereford stud is at the forefront. Shrimpton’s Hill Herefords at Cave has entered into a breeding partnership with Livestock Improvement Corporation (LIC) to supply semen and embryos, and is now the organisation’s exclusive supplier of short gestation length (SGL) hereford genetics. John’s father started the hereford stud in 1969, purchasing stock from the Maungahina dispersal sale. By the time John and Liz took over the property in 1990 the stud had 200 cows. They decided to increase the herd ‘‘because that’s what I was interested in,’’ John says. ‘‘This dovetailed into the growth expansion of the dairy industry and we could see to build the business we needed to market to dairy farmers because the beef industry was contracting. Today there are only 300,000 beef cows in the South Island and about the same number of dairy cows just in South Canterbury alone.’’
DAIRY FARMERS went home from one spring bull sale last week confident their purchases will mean extra days in milk compared to if they’d bought elsewhere. The sale was Shrimpton’s Hill Herefords, the leading herd in Australasia for short gestation genetics, a claim acknowledged by LIC bull acquisition manager Malcolm Ellis. “When we went looking for short gestation beef genetics we found they’re all in one place, here!” he told the audience as an introduction to the sale.
A demand for bulls with 'Short Gestation Times' has led to a bumper spring sale for Shrimpton's Hill Herefords at Cave. Vendor John Mckerchar said the 145 bulls sold yesterday for an average sale price of $2332 a head.