Devon-based Limousin breeders, Patrick and Sheila Greed, welcomed 80 visitors to their 700-acre Columbjohn Farm near Exeter on Wednesday 10 October. Arranged by the National Beef Association guests took in a tour of the farm and the award winning Killerton herd of pedigree Limousins.
Patrick prides himself on producing modern, well-fleshed bulls that are suitable for both commercial and pedigree breeders which will go on to produce progeny that the retail market desires. He aims to breed cattle with good growth, muscling and meat yield. As well as concentrating on carcass traits, Patrick puts a strong focus on calving ease, mobility and temperament as he breeds his own replacements. The pedigree proportion of the 160-strong suckler herd has increased over the years through the retention of homebred heifers and now makes up over 80% of the herd.
The genetic improvement of the herd has been enhanced through the use of AI (artificial insemination) as well as a strict replacement policy of only retaining heifers which show favourable performance and characteristics. Heifers and bulls that are not sold for breeding or kept for replacements are finished in a semi-intensive ad-lib system with bulls kept entire. All finished stock is then sold deadweight.
Speaking on the progression of his herd, Patrick said: “Our pedigree herd began when we decided to breed our own stock bulls. We started with a small nucleus herd and realised that by breeding bulls we could add value to what we produce. He added “From then on the Killerton Limousins has grown and we are now selling up to 30 breeding bulls each year.”
No stranger to success in this area, Patrick and Shelia took the 6,700gns top price with Killerton Mccoy at the British Limousin Society’s May sale held at Brecon Market in May this year. For good measure their bull had also picked up the Supreme Championship in the pre-sale show under the Judge Paul Tippetts of the Wilodge herd, Shifnal, Shropshire.
The farm walk was scheduled ahead of the NBA Agrifest South West event run by the NBA South West to be held on Wednesday, November 7 at Westpoint Exeter.
Speaking on the farm walk John Vanstone, former trustee board representative for the SW region commented ” It was a beautiful autumn day, with stunning cattle for us to view. The way Patrick is breeding and selling bulls to produce cattle for market demand is a credit to the industry”