The distinctive Speckle Park beef breed is becoming increasingly popular for both beef and dairy breeding.

Breeding and herd improvement company CRV Ambreed has also seen a growing demand for Speckle Park semen straws, with sales of the breed up 50% in this month alone compared with the same month last year.

In a press release the company said demand for semen had made it the second-biggest beef breed seller after Herefords.

Dairy farm manager Mark Tiller, of Pomahaka, and wife Lesley have 32 purebred Speckle Park animals under the Aniwaniwa Speckle Park Stud banner. Photo: SRL Archives
Dairy farm manager Mark Tiller, of Pomahaka, and wife Lesley have 32 purebred Speckle Park animals under the Aniwaniwa Speckle Park Stud banner. Photo: SRL Archives

Aniwaniwa Speckle Park stud breeder Mark Tiller, of Pomahaka, agreed the breed was becoming more popular as demand for semen from his bull had doubled in the past year.

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''It really has taken off, with our semen sales doubling from about 1100 straws to 2400 this year.'' he said.

He said all the progeny of their bull, Aniwaniwa K3, were born speckled, as opposed to throwing solid black calves, which was an attractive attribute in a Speckle Park bull.

He had been sent to Xcell Breeding Services in Rangiora, where they extracted the semen and sold the straws.

Mr Tiller manages a 640ha, 1500-cow dairy farm for Blue Mountain Dairies at Pomahaka, West Otago.
He and wife Lesley have 32 purebred Speckle Park animals on their 200ha at Kaiwera, and in addition they have two females they bought from a stud in Canada.

However, those cows remain in Canada and they pay to have them grazed and flushed so they can have new bloodlines.

They import the embryos from those cows.

They have been interested in the polled beef breed since 2013 when they bought six embryos from Maungahina Stud, in the North Island, as a trial.

Last year they visited a breeder in Canada and brought back some embryos

He said the breed colours included solid black, red, white, coloured and speckled.

''People need to be aware that as it is a made-up breed, so sometimes colour markers are not always going to come through.

''They need to ensure they buy a pure-bred bull, if that is what they want.''

The Tillers held their first pure-bred sale this year and sold two bulls in the paddock, and they hoped to hold their first on-farm pure-bred bull sale in 2020.

He said Speckle Park were popular for beef, and dairy breeding and the four-day-old calves were also sought after, as they were easily identified.

The breed have a consistent yield of about 60% to 65% on average and the calves do well.

Speckle Park is a cross between the British White Park, shorthorn and Angus cattle.

Southern Rural Life