Race became international
The presence of the Salers breed is not limited to French territory.
It is also present on 5 continents, in more than thirty countries.
Salers in Australia
The importance of The Beef Industry
The beef industry is a vital part of the Australian economy with beef sales within the country worth around 6 million Australian dollars per year (€ 357 million). However beef production is orientated towards exports and is a major Australian export activity. Traditionally beef farms have used British breeds such as the Hereford, Shorthorn and Aberdeen Angus. The climatic differences between the North and South of Australia necessitated a strong input of Brahmin (bos indicus) in the North to counteract the heat and the ticks.
The introduction of European breeds including Salers
There were two waves of introduction of European breeds. The first was the 70’s with Charolais, Limousin and Simmenthal in the form of AI straws and subsequent different crossing programmes.
The second was at the end of the 80’s with the importation of animals on the hoof including Salers. Breed societies initially grew rapidly but have declined subsequently as a result of the ongoing drought. A peak of 29.8 million cattle in total was reached in 1976 before the population plummeted to 19.4 million in March 1984. In June 2004, the number was about 23.3 million.
The present situation
The number of Salers registered over recent years has averaged 275 per year. The Australian Association has 38 members. The average herd size is 17 sucklers. The Salers breed is in 31st position overall and 7th amongst European breeds. The New Zealand Salers Society and the Australian Salers Association have come together to co-operate. The Associations contribute to a Journal “ Australian Salers”, and combine their data banks for evaluation purposes (Trans Tasma Salers Genetics). This involves about 153 animals. The evaluation is based upon the International Breed Plan system which corresponds to the French Iboval.
Salers in Danemark
Salers were introduced in 1990 and there are currently 200 pure-breds and 22 graded up animals. Overall in Danemark, there are 91000 suckler cows (1st October 2005) of which 85 000 are cross-breds. The predominant breeds are Limousins (8000) and Hereford (4300). Salers are in 11th position and mainly in the East of the Country. Pure bred Salers are used for beef production ; bull beef at 13-15 months and heifers slaughtered at 20-24 months. In the crosses, Salers bulls are principally used on local milk breeds for the production of veal calves killed at 8 months. There are polled Salers imported from Canada. Salers are chosen for their calving ease and docility.
The Danish Salers Society
The Danish Salers Society is composed of “active” members, Salers breeders, and “passive” members simply interested in the breed. The Society is connected to Dansire which represents the breed and its members in the Danish Suckler Cow Committee and defines the future livestock objectives.
Contact : Jesper Hildebrandt – Eriksen
Salers in Switzerland
A recent presence
The presence of Salers in Switzerland is due to a recent individual initiative. In 1998, 4 females were imported. In December 2002, Joan Studer, a Salers breeder imported 15 yearlings. The breed then truly took off whith a current population of 300 cows all pure-breds. Generally in Switzerland most suckler cows are cross-breds of all breeds, around 40, 000 cows. Next comes the Angus with 3,500 cows, Limousins with 2,200 cows and rustic breeds, Highland and Galloway, with almost 2,000 cows. Next but less, but still more than Salers is the Beef Simmental, Charolais and beef brune. Most Salers breeders are in the West, in French-speaking Switzerland, but some breeders are now to be found in German-speaking Switzerland. All Swiss Salers are for the moment pure bred.
Salers, capable of thriving in Swiss conditions !
It is clearly established that naturally polled animals would be an asset for Switzerland. Switzerland has the same topography and the same climate as the Auvergne and farmers are equally farmers of a “green land”. Thus breeders need a Suckler cow which calves easily and has good milk potential such as the Salers. In addition, the exceptional overall maternal qualities of the breed, its rusticity plus a very good daily live weight gain and good conformation of 10-18 months fattened animals have finally convinced Swiss farmers.
Salers in Canada
State of the beef industry
There were 5, 32 million beef animals in Canada in 2005, mainly in the West of the Country. The average herd is 53 animals, farms are only average size (24 % less than 47 head, 36 % between 47 – 122 and only 40 % with more than 122. Most beef exports (74 %) go to the United States (455 million kg). There are some imports from New-Zealand (34%) and Uruguay (28%° as well as the United States. In total 90 million kgs. Canada is the 5 th ranking world exporter of beef both as meat and the hoof in 2003.)
The development of Salers in Canada
It was in the 80’s that Salers knew their greatest success and underwent rapid growth. Since then, pure bred registrations have shown a small decline but the usage of Salers in commercial herds remains encouraging. Importations began with Vaillant, Léo and Lucky Boy (Fourtet). Both pure bred and up grades are now used for breeding. Cross bred Salers cows have a reputation for the production of rapidly growing calves.
Salers in the United States
Why the success of Salers in North America ?
- calving ease
- weight at weaning and performance in feed-lots
- maternal qualities
- ability to use grassland
- and finally, their breeding ability (fertility and longevity)
The American Beef Industry
Salers are the best breed for crossing onto Angus cows. The advantage is a 25 % increase in productivity. There has been a strong growth in marketing in the last 10-15 years with respect to market quotes (in essence producers are now paid for the real value of carcasses) and branded beef : certified Angus, Ranchers Reserve, etc. Processing and packing companies also have their brand (IBP, Swift, Cargill) as well as a lot of retailers. Hereford and Angus have certified label schemes which provide added value. Some farmers are turning towards organic beef or even selling directly to supermarket chains.
From now to 2010, an increase of 63 % in organic food is forecast to reach a turn over of more than 46 billion dollars (€35 billion).Today 35 % of consumers buy organic food. There is also ready-to-serve and pre-cooked pieces market, new products, tasty, practical and easy to prepare in a society where people lack time or both parents work.
The American Salers Association
At the level of communication and promotion, the emphasis is on the easy-care nature of the breed, the work-time freed, the crosses, the maternal qualities and the financial benefits.
There are 13, 000 registered cows (11% upgrades, 53 % purebreds and 36% others in absorbtion.) There are 560 members and there are 10,000 births and 7,500weanings per year.
Salers in Great Britain
The introduction of Salers
The first imports began in 1985 with the purchase of 4 bulls and 60 heifers. The successive crisis of BSE in the 90’s stopped beef exports and the price collapsed. Agriculture then underwent a difficult period with a cessation of breeding programmes, a government uninterested by agriculture, an elderly farm population (65 years old) and an increase in bureaucracy, laws, costs, and a decrease in incomes. Limousins achieved a striking success as sucklers and local breeds underwent a revival.
Salers today in Britain
Nevertheless there has been significant progress with objectives, with health and the poll gene. The Salers breed survived, with a tendency towards more conformation, and docility is a criteria for selection. A big effort was made with respect to Beta-mannosidosis of which animals are guaranteed free since 1997. (only Beta-mannosidosis free animals are registered).
The poll gene involves one calf in 25,000. A polled programme of research is based on polled pure-bloods from the USA, Canada, Great Britain and some females imported in 1985.
Today polled animals are of high quality, they win at shows and are a commercial success.
The Salers is well-known in Britain, its commercial value proven. It is appreciated for the ease of calving, low costs, exceptional calf growth and docility.
Salers in Ireland
Introduction of the breed
In 1988, the first Salers were brought by two breeders, but it was only in 1993 that a small number of Irish farmers took a real interest in the breed and came to France for stock. In November 1994, the first imports of animals were made by a group of breeders to promote the breed. Since then, importations have occurred every year. At the end of the 80’s, there were 2 million cows, a quarter dairy cows (British Freisian and some dairy Shorthorn), the other three quarters were suckler cows. These cows were produced from crossing the dairy cows with Charolais, Simmental and Limousins as well as local breeds Angus and Hereford. The crosses were excellent suckler cows with the beef qualities of the sire and milking ability from the dams. However dairy farmers have turned towards a more extreme dairy type ie Holstein which improved milk but lost conformation. The commercial halfbreds were less satisfactory.
The pioneers of the Salers breed saw that a market existed for a true suckler cow and this was why Salers were imported. In addition, Agriculture was becoming an activity which was less and less profitable with more regulations and weak Irish markets coupled to a higher cost of living. In Ireland, farm size is also relatively small. Farmers have to find a second job, which in turn, necessitates an easy-care cow which can calve without supervision, hence the Salers.
Docility, the number one priority for the future
In 2000, 30 herds allowed the formation of the Irish Salers Cattle society. Today, there are 160 members with small number of pure breds. 450 calves were registered in 2005. In the future, docility will a major factor in the progress of Salers in Ireland. Because of the part-time nature of much farming, cattle are handled less and less. Although the great majority of Salers imported from France have been quiet, their progeny are not always so. Docility is now an important factor in evaluation in Ireland.
Salers in New ZealandIntroduction of the breed
The First Salers bull, from the Cantal, was imported in 1986. The New Zealand Society was then formed in 1987, which allowed the adoption an evaluation system on descendants in 1992 with the objectives of genetic Evaluation of Salers in commercial herds. The participating breeders, with bulls, are donating semen used on commercial cows. Descendents are grass-fed and not killed until 25 months old.
Salers have been chosen in preference to polled Hereford or Angus. Salers breeding is often an activity complementary to sheep farming. The dual presence and careful pasture management allows less usage of worming products for the two species. Holdings are medium to large, some with as many as 5,000 ewes and 500 cattle. As for geographic situation and climate, New Zealand has both gentle and steep hills, a very cold wind blows in winter and it is very hot in summer. It rains frequently. The breed is appreciated for its ease of calving, its ability to maintain pastures, its docility and its beef qualities.