Kaluga Region Living Up to Beef Potential25 April 2013
RUSSIA – Beef sector growth in the Kaluga region is gathering pace with the area’s breeding stock being boosted by 4,500 imported animals last year.
Recent leaps forward in cattle farming are largely thanks to a government policy initiative called Development of Beef Cattle.
The policy involves promoting facilities and knowledge transfer through extension work with business men and farmers and has so far resulted in some specialist beef herds being 7,500 strong.
As of April 1 2013, there were 17 per cent more beef cattle in Kaluga than the year before.
Kaluga has been specifically targeted for expansion due to its geographical and logistical suitability. The region lies to the south west of Moscow and is linked by good road systems allowing for easy liveweight and deadweight transportation.
The countryside and perfect cattle country, according to the Ministry of Agriculture, and sits near the urbanised Moscow area where beef consumption is established.
Efforts have been put into establishing a good forage base for livestock, this includes pasture development and extensive fencing work.
Russian stock buying is international has shown a preference for established beef breeds. Aberdeen Angus from Hungary and Hereford cattle are preferred.
Animals are selected on hardiness and adaptability to the climatic conditions of Kaluga. Other important factors are weight gain, forage versatility; marbling and meat quality and ease of reproduction and calving.
Breeding cows are grown to 500-550kg and calve animals weight 16-28 pounds. Suckler herds are common which rear the calf for eight months which means cattle must have strong maternal instincts.
Longer term, Russian farmers hope to improve the genetic breeding base of Russian beef cattle to secure a genomic base in the country.
TheCattleSite News Desk