Beef Shorthorns continue to enjoy an increasing demand across the UK, including in the North of England as suckler herd owners look to improve ease of management, capitalising on the breed’s easy calving and natural fleshing abilities.

The breed’s use as both a maternal and terminal sire makes it a great all-rounder for both suckler herds and dairy herds looking to add value to their calves, says society operations manager Clive Brown.

He says: “From a suckler point of view, there is increasing interest as many herds are seeking to breed their own replacements to reduce the potential for buying in disease. In these situations, Beef Shorthorns are the ideal solution, carrying great maternal traits.

The Northern Farmer: Beef Shorthorn breed is increasing in popularity

“On top of this, thanks to the breed’s reputation for high-quality beef and the premium price paid by leading retailer Morrisons for Beef Shorthorn sired beef, any male calves are well sought after, either as stores or as finished animals.”

Meanwhile, from a dairy perspective, the short gestation offered by the breed, coupled with relatively low birth weights and easy calving means Beef Shorthorns are finding favour among dairy producers looking to ensure cows experience hassle free births and get back in calf easily, says Mr Brown.

“Once again, the premiums on offer for Beef Shorthorn sired progeny add to the benefits available to dairy producers and the Beef Shorthorn cross dairy heifers are increasingly sought after as sucker replacements,” he adds.

And, in an era of increasing costs and narrowing margins, the Beef Shorthorn’s easy fleshing and low maintenance traits mark it out as the breed of choice for producers looking to maximise production from forage.

The Northern Farmer: Beef Shorthorn has a reputation for high-quality beef

Clive says: “Beef Shorthorn cows don’t require huge amounts of concentrate feeding, particularly where high quality forage can be offered, with diverse multi-species leys such as those favoured under the Sustainable Farming Incentive are available for grazing.

"An increasing focus on regenerative systems is also seeing an increased demand from arable farms looking to introduce livestock back into their enterprises.

“The breed’s docile nature allied with its moderate size makes it ideal for these situations where there may not be extensive livestock experience on-farm. These farms are looking for cattle which can be easily managed without adding significantly to either workload or costs.”

Sales performance in the early part of the year has been strong, with sales at both Stirling and Melton Mowbray seeing good demand for both males and females and buyers clearly looking to invest in the breed as its popularity continues to increase.

Clive says: “There is no doubt the Beef Shorthorn is among the go-to breeds at the moment, with phenomenal interest from both a pedigree and commercial perspective.

“An increasing number of young breeders are being attracted to the breed, with many of these quickly making their mark at sales across the UK.”

Interestingly, he adds, while many suckler herds are seeking out Beef Shorthorn bulls to use in their breeding programmes, a number are also looking to quicken the process by purchasing pure-bred Beef Shorthorn heifers as herd replacements, bolstering trade across the breed.

Mr Brown says the increasing interest in the breed from all sectors of the beef industry is rewarding the investment made by breeders in their herds and testament to the work done by breeders, both new and old, to ensure the breed meets the demands of the modern commercial beef market.

For more on the Beef Shorthorn Society or if considering stocking the breed, visit or call the team on 02475 099146.