Romanian farmers are becoming more and more interested in breeding beef cattle. Beef cattle are easy to breed and on high demand on the European market. The big advantage of beef cattle is that they grow fast and their breeding entails lower costs than raising dairy cattle. Moreover, due to the strict conditions set for milk production, many farmers pass from beef cattle to dairy cattle breeding. Charolaise, Limousine, Aubrac and Angus are some of the new beef cattle breeds raised in Romanian farms. Many farmers prefer the Angus breed, originating in Scotland, as they obtain very good results here in Romania with this breed. Here is Aurelian Florea, manager of the Aberdeen Angus Romania Association:
“This breed is perfect for Romania’s grazing fields. It is a hardy breed, very adaptable to extreme temperatures that may range from minus 40 to plus 40 degrees Celsius. Angus cattle are precocious in the sense that at 14 or 15 months they can be first mated. Angus cattle calve easily, calves have a light weight at birth as compared with other beef cattle breeds. It is a prolific breed, each cow gives birth to a calf each year, the gestation period is 9 months, and cows put on 1,300 grams every day, given that the Angus breed grazes freely on pastures. Furthermore, pastures in Romania cover large areas and the quality of grass is very good, placing Romania on one of the top positions in Europe in this respect.”
The number of Angus cattle is growing continuously in Romania. This breed has the best conditions for growth on Romania’s grazing fields, in the plain and hilly areas, and Romanian farmers can also receive subsidies to breed Angus cattle. Aurelian Florea is back at the microphone:
“If in 2008 we had a number of 200 Angus head of cattle, at present we boast more than 15 thousand such cattle across Romania. The Association reports more than 11 thousand head of Angus purebred cattle registered. This breed is on high demand in Romania and farmers can also access subsidies. Those who breed purebred Angus cattle receive 300 euros per cow, an amount that helps develop the farm. The amount of money can be obtained relatively easily if farmers observe the conditions, namely to have purebred Angus cattle with controlled origin certificates. Farmers can also access subsidies for crossbreeds with the Angus breed, which encourages farmers to pass from dairy cattle to beef cattle breeding.”
One kilogram of Angus beef sirloin costs up to 50 euros, because the meat is very tasty. The high demand of premium quality beef on the European market made two Swiss businessmen invest in an Angus cattle farm near Sibiu, in central Romania. They set up the company Karpaten Meet SRL, which at present owns more than 3,500 cattle and several thousand hectares of pastures. The company also develops partnerships with small farmers, their main target being the setting up of a network of producers across Romania that should cover all stages of production: grazing, breeding and fattening, slaughtering and meat processing. For a high standard of the meat, calves are left with their mothers for nursing for a longer period than usual, being at the same time let to graze in the fields.
The company’s plans for the future are related to increasing the number of cows from 3,500 to 10,000 in the breeding and reproduction farm and to around 6,000 in the fattening farm, annually. Under these circumstances, the amount of land needed will reach 10 thousand hectares of pastures and farmland. According to statistics, the density of cattle is of only 15 cows per 100 hectares while in Ireland there are 137 cows per 100 hectares.
(Translated by L. Simion)