Increased selection for native sires for easy calving traits and premium finished prices for their progeny both in the dairy and the beef herds, has resulted in an rise in the number of registrations of both Aberdeen-Angus and Hereford-sired calves for the first four months of 2019.

In contrast to data from the past 15-20 years which highlighted the rise in demand for Limousin, Charolais and Simmental genetics, recent figures from the British Cattle Movement Service show such registrations are in decline.

However, not all continental breeds have witnessed the fall, British Blue, and Salers-sired cattle have been increasing in popularity in recent years and appear to be replacing some of the more commonly used sires, according to a report from AHDB.

Nevertheless, despite the decline in registrations, Limousin remains the most popular beef sire in Great Britain, with 195,000 head of calves registered under the breed in the first four months.

Carcase trait Estimated Breeding Values (EBVs) are also now available to help beef farmers choose a bull based on the traits farmers are paid for most. However they can only be generated if the ear tag number of the sire is recorded when registering a calf with BCMS.