Understanding beef cattle breeding in the Czech Republic
Beef cattle – hardiness, modesty, adaptability
Beef cattle, including the Belgian Blue, have been bred in the Czech Republic since the 90th years of the last century. The change of political conditions after the revolution in 1989 has been largely reflected into the agrarian sector. The gradual restructuring of agricultural production, extensive land use on behalf of cultural landscape conservation and the demand for quality beef contributed to the rapid expansion of beef cattle breeding.
With regard to the fact that there is no breed of specialised beef cattle native in the Czech Republic the establishment of beef cattle breeding in the Czech Republic were based on massive imports from abroad supported by the government in the 90th. The importation of such quality purebred genetics has given a very good starting position for the expansion of beef cattle breeding.
Czech beef cattle breeding have been realized by both ways, either in pure-bred form or as cross-breeding. Type of the farm, its location and sales possibility are crucial factors for the selection of production trend and choice of particular breed. Variation of natural and climatic conditions led not only to breeding of intensive beef breeds, but also to grazing of strictly extensive breeds, whose main function can be seen in the landscape maintenance.The Czech Republic is an ideal place for beef cattle breeding:
- There are 24 beef breeds (the main ones are Charolaise, Beef Simmental and Aberdeen Angus)
- About 215.000 cows without market milk production (suckler cows) are kept.
- 22,000 females are registered in Herd Books
- 22,500 cows are in the system of performance recording.
Why should you choose the quality beef cattle from the Czech Republic?
• The breeding of beef cattle in the Czech Republic (CR) had been entirely established on the basis of massive importation of superior genetics from the countries of origin of particular breeds.
• The system of beef performance recording certified by ICAR provided by independent inspectors of the Czech Beef Association (ČSCHMS) ensures the maximum objectivity of data collection, following processing and evaluation.
• The conditions for administration of herd books of particular breeds and issue of pedigree certificates exceed the standards given by European regulations.
• The strong selection pressure at different levels is a prerequisite for the choice of the best animals for further breeding.
• The standardized and unified system of performance tests of young breeding bulls in the certified performance-test stations is a guarantee for choice of bulls with the highest quality.
• The routine estimation of breeding values for 21 traits and progressive development of the estimation for the other traits are integral parts of the selection work on farms and within population.
• The very good animal health status of the CR (brucellosis, tuberculosis and leucosis free), but also within individual farms (national IBR sanitation program) is a good precondition for fulfilment of the straigtest health requirements
• Great variation of natural and climatic conditions (50% of the land in the LFA) make a very good development of all types of beef cattle breeds possible.