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Ambitious targets for Stabiliser project team.

The Northwest Stabiliser Project is managed by a board of directors of seven farmers.

The project's success will be measured by milestones, including the establishment of a formal producer group, 15 Stabiliser multiplier herds and three training farms.

The project's target is for Stabiliser breeders to supply 10% of the region's suckler herd replacement requirement by 2010.

The Stabiliser concept

The Stabiliser is a composite breed created at the US Department of Agriculture's Meat Animal Research Centre in Nebraska by crossing four pure beef breeds: Gelbveih, Hereford, Red Angus and Simmental. It proved to be the most efficient breed of all the 25 tested at the centre.

The Stabiliser was imported by the Beef Improvement Group (BIG) in 1998. BIG is a business comprising shareholders and multipliers designed to accelerate the multiplication and marketing of Stabiliser genetics and enhance the competitiveness of the beef industry.

BIG was awarded two Defra Agricultural Development Scheme grants over five years to set up, develop and market its activities

The BIG Project to date

* 34 Multipliers appointed to breed pure Stabilisers using embryo transfer technology working within a BIG franchise agreement

* 2,000 + Stabiliser embryos imported; 550 Stabiliser embryos collected from UK bred cows

* 114 farmers using artificial insemnation or bulls to grade up existing suckler cows to produce their own crossbred replacement heifers

* 200 Stabiliser bulls working on farms; 4,800 + doses of Stabiliser semen used

* 13,000 commercial suckler cows involved in 144 herds throughout GB

* Signet's Stabiliser registration and recording system comprises over 700 pure bred Stabilisers and 5,500 crossbred females

* Five performance testing centres established, each with a group of up to 60 Stabiliser bulls on test through to 400 days, after which each is awarded a full set of Estimated Breeding Values.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 11, 2006
Words:294
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