The Aberdeen-Angus breed has once again increased its influence on the British beef industry, according to released figures which show it continuing as the most popular native beef breed sire in the UK.
More than 17% of all beef breed sired calves registered with the British Cattle Movement Service in 2014 were sired by Aberdeen-Angus bulls.
As well as being the most popular native sire, the Aberdeen-Angus breed is the country’s second most popular beef breed overall and increased its influence on BCMS calf registrations by 9% on 2013 to a total of 296,125.
The increase in the breed’s influence is a result of several factors, believes Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society chief executive Ron McHattie.
“Importantly it is being driven by a demand for Aberdeen-Angus sired beef from consumers,” he said.
“Angus beef is now being sold in more major retail chains than ever before and that, coupled with demand from the butcher and catering sectors, is resulting in an increasing volume of Aberdeen-Angus cattle being required by processors.
“This in turn is resulting in premium prices in both the prime and store cattle sales rings and rewards those producers who have chosen to use Aberdeen-Angus sires in the suckler and dairy herds.
“It is also a worthy acknowledgement of the hard work done by UK Aberdeen-Angus breeders to produce modern bulls of the type required by the commercial beef sector.
“Advancements in the use of estimated breeding values, coupled with the renowned easy calving and easier care attributes of the Aberdeen-Angus breed have led to large numbers of commercial suckler farmers switching to the breed in recent years.
“The Aberdeen-Angus breed is firmly fixed as the second most popular beef breed sire in the UK and this looks set to continue further as increasing numbers of retailers look to capitalise on the high quality of beef in the coming years.”
Commercial farmers are being drawn to the breed both as a result of premium prices, but also its ability to finish on forage-based diets and to thrive in all parts of the UK, said Mr McHattie.
“As beef farmers further scrutinise costs they are seeking out cattle which require less concentrate feeding and which can maximise productivity from lower inputs.
“The Aberdeen-Angus fits the bill perfectly, both as a terminal sire and as a suckler cow.”