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Hereford genetics have been the basis of a successful beef enterprise on a leading Holstein dairy herd in Co Tyrone. The father and son partnership owned by Bertie and Paul McAleece near Coagh runs 350 cows producing an average of 9,500 litres per annum on a twice a day milking regime.

“We are looking to further develop the output from the herd and are working on the installation of robotic milkers with the aim of taking our average over the 10,000 litre mark,” says Paul.

The breeding policy revolves around the use of sexed semen on selected cows – with each cow inseminated twice to the Holstein before switching to a beef bull. All cows are inseminated while indoors using both beef and dairy semen with a sweeper bull introduced when they go to grass.

“For the last 5 years a Hereford bull has been used in the sweeper role and the quality of his progeny has made a significant difference to the performance of our beef enterprise.

We rear all the Hereford sired calves on a grass-based system and market them through the Dunbia Hereford scheme which supplies the Co-op. We bought our current bull back in 2013 and were impressed with his conformation and easy fleshing when we first saw him. He is transmitting these qualities to his progeny with calves born more easily without supervision and growing quickly into good quality carcasses without a lot of feed required,” says Paul.

“We aim to rear the calves well for the first four months to give them a good start and they receive 2.5 kgs of meal per day from four months to turn-out. They are then allowed to grow out naturally and develop a good frame on grass before a finishing period of around three months on more intensive feeding. We find the cattle respond very quickly when we start to feed them – you need to be careful at this stage not to put on too much condition,” says Paul.

The 58 cattle, both steers and heifers, killed from the Mc Aleece farm over the past year averaged 383 kgs deadweight at 22 months of age, producing O+ and R grades at fat class 3+ and 4.

“We have been very pleased with what the Hereford has produced for us and have collected semen from the bull on two occasions to put in store so we can continue to use him for a few more years.”

Kenny Linton, Hereford scheme manager with Dunbia is delighted with the quality of the cattle offered.

He says: “Good quality crosses from the dairy herd provide us with the type of carcase we need in terms of delivering the right cuts and portion size for the retail pack. The McAleece’s are foundation members of our Co-op supply group and are consistently suppyling us with what we need to develop strong trading relationships with our retail customers”.


A strong offering of Hereford bulls has been catalogued for the spring show and sale of Hereford bulls scheduled for Tuesday 23 April in Dungannon Farmers Mart.

The entry of 30 bulls includes a number of well-grown two year olds, ready to go straight to work in either beef or dairy herds.

All will have undergone a pre-sale veterinary inspection and many are supported by estimated breeding values which will help guide buyers as to the performance of their progeny.

Several superior carcase sires are included in the line-up and these will be eligible for a cash-back incentive of up to £500 from the Hereford Cattle Society.


A new incentive has been introduced to the spring show and sale at Dungannon Market on Tuesday 23 April which has a quality entry of 30 bulls.

Any bull sold over 3,000gns will be paid for in pounds by the purchaser, with the Northern Irish Hereford Breeders' Association covering the commision. 

Further details and catalogues are available from Dungannon Farmers Mart at 028 8772 2727.

Catalogues can be viewed on the online sales section on the Hereford Society website or by clicking here




Supreme champion at last year's sale, Cullamore Nathan, from R McKenna, Dernasell

With the use of Electronic Identification (EiD) ear tags set to become compulsory in all cattle in the future, Allflex will be attending this year’s Beef Expo event to offer its advice to beef farmers to ensure their tagging procedures are fully compliant when the new regulations take effect and to explain how the technology can add real value to their businesses through improved herd management and monitoring.

Whilst the final deadline for the compulsory use of EiD tags has yet to be confirmed by DEFRA, the National Beef Association’s Beef Expo which takes place at the J36 Rural Auction Centre in Cumbria on Thursday 23rd May is the perfect event for farmers to ensure they fully understand the proposed regulations and for them to get to grips with what will be required to ensure their businesses are fully compliant when the new rules take effect.

That is according to Pete Hansford, Livestock Identification Product Group Manager for Allflex, who encourages anyone who is unsure of how the regulations will affect their business to visit the Allflex stand at the Expo.

“With the compulsory use of EiD tags on the horizon for all cattle, Allflex is committed to providing beef producers with the necessary help and advice to ensure their tagging policies conform to the proposed rules in the most cost-effective way,” Mr Hansford explains.

“Beyond simply meeting the new legal requirements for the way cattle are tagged and movements are recorded, embracing EiD technologies to capture valuable performance data on an individual animal and herd-wide basis also gives producers the opportunity to make informed management decisions which will ultimately improve their herd’s profitability: whether that’s using EiD equipment to monitor growth rates or to record health treatments, or merely to log cattle movements, adopting EiD tags ahead of the compulsory deadline will bring significant efficiencies to modern livestock systems.”

The first step to ensuring beef units can comply with compulsory EiD is for farmers to find out which technologies will best suit their specific needs and how to integrate these into their current farming practices.

“With a long heritage in this sector, Allflex is therefore looking forward to offering impartial advice to visitors to the Beef Expo to help them make the right choice to ensure their investment in EiD not only conforms to the new rules but also provides the best solution for their farming business in the long term,” Mr Hansford adds.

Allflex is currently offering interest-free packages on a range of livestock handling, weighing and EiD equipment with 0% finance and fixed monthly payments making the transition to electronic identification more affordable than ever.

For more information about EiD tags and tagging devices visit the Allflex stand (number 57) at Beef Expo on 23rd May or go to www.allflex.global/uk 

Solpoll 1 Perfection from J and W McMordie, Ballygowan, Co Down was the pick of the bidders and the judge at the Hereford spring show and sale at Hereford market. Having stood grand male champion in the pre-sale show, this Panmure 1 Henry son was knocked down at 8,000gns, and taken home by pedigree breeders SC and GL Hartwright, Abingdon, Oxfordshire with plans to show it through the summer. A superior carcase sire with excellent figures, this bull has been used heavily at Solpoll and was reserve in the performance recorded interbreed class at the Royal Ulster.

Solpoll 1 Perfection sold for 8,000gns

Havenfield 1 Rufus, an October 2017-born bull from the well-established home of EL Lewis and son, Dilwyn, Herefordshire was next in the money at 6,400gns, passing hands to JR Williams, George Nympton, Devon. By Solpoll 1 Lawman, the supreme champion at Tullamore Show in both 2016 and 2017, Rufus’ grandsire is also Panmure 1 Henry. In late 2018, this young bull was judged best bull calf in the Christmas Calf Show 2018 at Shrewsbury.

Havenfield 1 Rufus sold for 6,400gns

Another McMordie bred bull, Solpoll 1 Rawhide, realised 6,000gns and received a red prize card in the pre-sale show. Selling to Mr and Mrs MGS Gibson, Stitchcombe, Wiltshire, it is another Panmure 1 Henry son. Born in September 2017 it is out of the home-bred Solpoll 1 Dainty F16, one of the herd’s best cows. Also a superior carcase sire, it carries a set of impressive figures, with nine traits in the top five per cent of the breed.

Solpoll 1 Rawhide sold for 6,000gns

Having travelled south from Kelso, Scottish Borders, Romany 1 Roxburgh BL R34 from JRB Wilsons and sons sold to pedigree breeders N and G Robinson, Bury, Lancashire for 5,200gns. This striking bull with full eye pigmentation is by the Hereford Cattle Society’s 2018 sire of the year Barwise 1 Lancer and out of Romany 1 Ishbel RE L48.

Romany 1 Roxburgh BL R34 sold for 5,200gns 

Bosa 1 Norfolk from Gerald Blandford’s herd at Bosbury, Herefordshire realised 3,400gns selling to M Ludgate, Scotsgrove, Oxfordshire. Born in June 2017, this well-framed bull stood reserve senior male in the pre-sale show.

Dendor 1 Myrtle 13th from DE, ED and AL Jones, Caersws, Powys led the heifer trade at 5,500gns, selling to Rachel Aidley, Elworth, Cheshire. It is by Canadian-bred Harvie Java 52J, which itself carries Dendor blood and has been twice named Danish national Hereford male champion. It sold in-calf to Dendor 1 Nairobi which was supreme champion at the Hereford Cattle Society’s National Poll Show in 2018.

Dendor 1 Myrtle 13th sold for 5,500gns

Not far behind was Shraden 1 Alice R834 from MJ and HM Timmis which saw bids reach 5,000gns and will travel across the water with Uel Shaw, Dungannon. By Dendor 1 Knuckleduster, it is another from the herd’s Alice family and paternal sister to the Timmis’ Hereford market record priced female made in autumn 2018.

Shraden 1 Alice R834 sold for 5,000gns

Fisher 1 Eva R480 from WJ Hutchings and sons, South Mundham, West Sussex hit 3,700gns, selling to J Twose, Login, Carmarthenshire. One of the best females ever offered by Mr Hutchings at Hereford, it is out of Fisher 1 Eva G303, one of the top cows in the Fisher herd.

Fisher 1 Eva R480 sold for 3,700gns

In the for sale only section, DJ Makin, Wellington, Herefordshire took the highest price at 2,100gns for Adzor Rumour. Born in September 2017, it is by Auckvale Kansas and out of Adzor Jessie J. It went home with S Taylor and D Marsh, Euxton, Lancashire.

IC Markham, Castlethorpe, Buckinghamshire had a good run of heifers entered, with Boundless 1 Madonna 1214, bred by B, H and MR Myers selling to 1,900gns to WS Layton, Ivington, Herefordshire. R Edwards and E Smith, Leigh, Wiltshire, also sold a heifer Classic 1 Violet at 1,850gns.

David Deakin, breed secretary, commented: “It was pleasing to see that the interest in the breed shows no signs of slowing down with standing room only around the show and sale rings, mirroring the continued increase in the Society’s membership.

“It was also encouraging to see almost half the cattle finding homes outside of the breed, another sign that the Hereford’s popularity in the commercial market is continuing to grow.”

Auctioneers: Brightwells

Averages: 46 bulls, £3,394; 22 show females, £3,021; 24 for sale only females, £1,330.

The champion Solpoll 1 Perfection from J and W McMordie (left) and Pulham 1 Remitall from PRJ and LR Vincent

Staff from Hereford House travelled to Ireland to visit Weatherbys, the HCS provider of DNA analysis, to learn more about the testing process and sample quality requirements to be able to better inform members.


Staff took part in a laboratory tour and had useful discussions with the Weatherbys team, covering sample submission, customer service, reporting, bio banking, genomic evaluations and integration Abri (Breedplan).

For more information on DNA sampling, click here.

A group of members known to former HCS administrator Sylvia Wood gathered for a lunch at the Castle House Hotel, Hereford to present a gift and show their appreciation for Sylvia’s work for the Society over her 44 years of employment.

Clive Davies addressed guests and spoke briefly on Syliva’s time with the Society and the changes she had witnessed at Hereford House over the course of her long career.

The Society once again wishes to thank Sylvia for her commitment and service over the many years.

L-R: Alison Allman, Richard Bradstock, Tracey Thomas, Clive Davies, Sylvia Wood, Robin Irvine, Beverley Turner, Michael Church, Edward Lewis, Richard Mann and Jonathan Moorhouse

With less than 12 months until the World Hereford Conference, to be held in New Zealand in 2020, please the latest schedule and prices attached.

Information has been a little slow in coming out of New Zealand, with some costings, particularly around accommodation still to be decided.

it is suggested, that if you are interested in attending or require further information, such as the cost of flights from various locations around the UK, to contact Ms Carolyne Cree at Field Farm Tours. Carolyne has many years’ experience in organising World Hereford Conference tours and will be able to assist you in all aspects of the conference.

Contact details for Field Farm Tours are as follows:
Tel: 01636 616060 info@fieldfarmtours.co.uk

To minimise the likelihood of costly re-testing, please see our helpful guidance on successfully taking DNA hair samples here.


Council is thankful to Jonathan Moorhouse for accepting its request to return to the position of president, following the resignation of Des Kelly.


Jonathan did a tremendous job last year as president and although unable to be as active in his role this year, he and Rosemary will endeavour to be at as many events as possible, particularly the engagements they could not attend in 2018.


Following the resignation of Robin Irvine, the Society's council was pleased to elect the vice-chairman Phillip Allman into the chair. 

Phil, of Greenyards Herefords, Sutton St Nicholas, Herefordshire has been a council member for six years, having represented both Scotland and the West Midlands.

He is probably best known within the breed for winning the breed championship at the Royal Show with Greenyards 1 Archie in both 2006 and 2008. 

A sale steeped in tradition, the Hereford Cattle Society’s premier spring show and sale will this year see a slight change to usual proceedings, with £1,500 bull buyer bonus up for grabs.

Held at Hereford Market on Monday 15 April 2019, the Society is putting forward £1,000 to be split equally between the buyer and vendor of the top price bull, and £500 for the second highest price bull to be shared under the same arrangement.

Last year’s spring sale at Hereford was a record breaker with a record bull average set at £4,321.15, topping at 8,200gns for Romany 1 Posiedon BL P5 from JRB Wilson and sons, Kelso.

This year’s sale is set to be no different with 62 bulls entered, with many coming from award winning herds and some of the most well-regarded breeders from across the UK. There will also be 62 pedigree females on offer.

The show, which is always a spectacle, will commence at 9am and will be followed by the sale at 12:30pm.

Hereford Cattle Society breed secretary, David Deakin, said: “The Hereford is most certainly a breed with a rising popularity, largely due to its management benefits, including its docility and easy-calving, but also its superior meat qualities which are widely regarded and as such, supported by a number of national retailers via branded beef schemes.

“I look forward to welcoming visitors to Hereford Market for our spring show and sale and wish the best of luck to both vendors and buyers alike.”

A fine mix of new and repeat customers converged at Mains of Airies Farm in the Rhins of Galloway for the annual Ervie Herefords spring bull sale held by the Douglas family. The sale grossed at £110,500, with prices ranging from £1,800 to £7,000.

Ervie Advance 172213 made the highest price of the day, selling at £7,000 to new pedigree breeders, Ian and Sian Houston, Newton Stewart. This big, lengthy bull sported a well-balanced set of figures including a terminal index of +33 and maternal index of +43. It is sired by Ervie L1 Achiever 91151H and out of a top Tribute cow.

Ervie Advance 172213 sold at £7,000

Commercial breeders Messrs Hutton from Castle Douglas bid to £4,500 for yet another 1151 son, this time from the Gypsy family. Dark-coloured and stylish, this bull boasted a great set of figures combining calving-ease and growth and with a terminal Index of +34 and maternal index of +42.Ervie Advance 172314, many buyers’ favourite, with the top weights at both 200 and 400 days, sold at £5,200 to E Lewis, Salbri Herefords, Anglesey. By Ervie L1 Achiever 91151H and from the Libby family, it is well-marked and dark-coloured, with great natural thickness and power and will be used in a pedigree herd.

Coming through four lots later, Ervie Advance 172216 sold to repeat buyer Iain Wilkinson, Dundee at £3,400 for both pedigree and commercial use. Sired by Ervie L1 Achiever 131636 and from the Peach family, it had a birth weight of 38kg and was one of the largest and heaviest bulls in the sale. It will now work mainly on daughters of Ervie Advance 141836, bought for £7,200 in the 2016 sale.

Ervie Advance 172314 sold at £5,200

First bull in the ring, Ervie L1 Achiever 172218, realised £3,000 and sold to Ardlamont Estate, Argyll for pedigree use. This dark, attractive bull had a 38kg birthweight, has a straight Line One pedigree and descends from one of the first embryo flushes imported to Ervie in 2005.

Repeat buyer Mark Ogg, from Montrose parted with £3,000 for Ervie Advance 172234 - an upstanding, correct bull with thick top and loin. Sired by Ervie L1 Achiever 141753 and out of a Tribute cow, the bull goes to work alongside two previous Ervie purchases on a large, predominately Simmental commercial beef unit in Angus.

New customers, RG Elliot and son travelled up from Northampton topurchase two bulls including Ervie Advance 172231 at £2,700. This quality son of Ervie L1 Achiever 141780 is from the Crocus family and went south with Ervie Advance 172311 to use on Salers cross Shorthorn type females.

Volume buyers included A and M Smith, Brampton who bought eight bulls for an average of £2,000, High Mark Farming, Stranraer which secured eight bulls at an average of £1,962 and Dourie Farming Co., Newton Stewart which purchased 10 bulls for an average of £1,800.

Average: 48 bulls, £2,302

Auctioneers: Dumfries Auction Mart

Young Hereford breeder Will Awan, 17, graced TV screens across the nation on Sunday 3 March as he featured on Countryfile with Adam Henson. 

Together with his business partner and mentor Bob Honey, the two Hereford enthusiasts run Midford traditional and poll Herfords near Bath. 

Will and Bob have been fortunate to have found each other and have forged a working relationship. Bob is pleased to have a young, enthusiastic partner to contribute to the buisiness, while Will, who has no farming family members, is glad to have the opportunity to be able to progress his career. 

If you missed the programme on Sunday night, catch up on iPlayer here.  

Hereford bulls topped the trade at last week’s native breeds sale at Dungannon Market.

The top call of 5,100gns was paid for Solpoll 1 Powerhouse from father and son partnership, William and John McMordie, Ballygowan. Sired by the Danish-born Moeskar Mentos, Powerhouse boasted outstanding performance figures for both growth and muscle and is eligible for the superior carcase sire incentive funded by the Hereford Cattle Society. The bull joins a newly established suckler beef enterprise in Co Londonderry.


Solpoll 1 Powerhouse

It was a good day at the office for Mark and Laurence Moore, Aughnacloy with horned bull Annaghbeg Eli selling at 3,500gns, which is a well-muscled son of Guteragh Gladiator.

Annaghbeg Eli

Pick of the bunch for judge Michael Molloy was Mervyn and Henry Richmond’s Corraback Lenny which took the red rosette in the intermediate class before going on to win the supreme championship and was later knocked down at 3,000gns. This is another strong son of the very successful Mara Flook and was much admired when displayed on the breed stand at the recent Royal Ulster Winter Fair.

Corraback Lenny

Stars of television’s ‘Rare Breed’, David Wilson and sons’ Jack and Robbie were among successful vendors making 2,900gns for Lisrace Lumberjack, a stylish bull with strong EBVs for growth rate and calving-ease. Lisrace Loyalist for the same herd sold for 2,600gns.


Lisrace Lumberjack

The average price for 11 bulls sold was a healthy £2,825. The Northern Irish Hereford Cattle Breeders’ Association chairman Adrian Irvine was delighted with the demand

He said: “We had a lot of good bulls on offer with power and quality and this is reflected in the prices with both top price and the average significantly better than last year. We’ll be back with another strong line-up on 23 April for the Association’s spring show and sale.”

Judge, Michael Malloy

Averages: 11 bulls, £2,825. 

Auctioneers: Dungannon Farmers Mart