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www.wmfd.com - It's not Japan's famous Kobe beef, but Waygu beef is considered by some to be one of the most expensive in the world and now, a farm on the other side of the world is looking to give the Japanese a run for their money, as it attempts to become the world's largest producer of Waygu beef. }}" />

   
 
 
Scotland Farmers Want To Produce The Most Expensive Beef

Story By: Larry Stine

 

 

 
 
 
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  Original Published: 9/8/2013 It's not Japan's famous Kobe beef, but Waygu beef is considered by some to be one of the most expensive in the world. Now, a farm on the other side of the world is looking to give the Japanese a run for their money, as it attempts to become the world's largest producer of Waygu beef. Isa Soares travels to Perthshire in Scotland to find out more. This calf is only two days olf, but already he's making history, becoming one of Scotland's prized possessions. He's the pride and joy of Mohsin Altajir and Martine Chapman, the husband and wife team behind an ambitious breeding initiative. In 2011, they bought Japanese Waygu cattle and embryos from Australia, where most Waygu are grown, and started to cross-breed them with traditional Scottish pedigrees. The aim, to produce what they hope will be the best beef in the world. "What you do for example, is you take 50 cows, or 50 heffers, we prefer heffers," says Altajir. "We'll put 50 embryos in and from these embryos, at a norm, we will lose 50 percent of them, because they don't all take. To save time and have to re-programme them again, we put the bull in, because what doesn't have an embryo will fall in line with the bull. So you'll have a cross Shorthorn or a cross Angus." With 25,000 acres of grazing land, it's an environment conducive to raising healthy Waygu. They say to improve the fertility rates and the quality, they have their cattle on a strict regime. "We want the best steak in the world," says Altajir. "We are not looking at Europe. In order to get there you need to do everything precisely. "We found that we brought in seaweed from Orkney, we also used Omega 3, we conditioned the animals, we kept them happy and content and we found that our conception rate started going up from 60 to about 90 in the last fresh implantation," he says. Their somewhat unorhhodox methods, which include music and moof lighting, have raised a few eyebrows in this small Scottish community. "They look at you as to say why are you breeding Japanese cattle in Scotland?" says Chapman. "I think a lot of them are scared right now, but I think they see the quality of the beef, I think they're going to start coming on board." That may be so, but the cost of rearing this animal may just deter other breeders. The feed is a vital part of raising premium Waygu, but it comes at a price. They have to be fed a special low-energy concentrate and that costs $1,500 per animal a year. After 30-34 months, these animals will be off to the market, where they will sell for more than $11,750. Undeterred, Mohsin and Martine predict they'll have 1,500 Waygy by the end of next year. And they're adamant, there will be demand. At $300 a kilo, just over two pounds, they're hoping there's an appetite in Europe for Waygu.
   
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