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A survey of beef production in west wales, 1943–8 Part II. Variations within the region and the ecology of beef production

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 March 2009

R. Phillips
University College, Aberystwyth


1. Differences in cattle population (4 June returns) and in average body size of fat cattle (data from the collecting centres) have been illustrated for the three counties (Cardiganshire, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire) constituting this region. They indicate the superiority of Pembrokeshire.

2. The six westerly collecting areas of Pembrokeshire produce the heaviest cattle of better grading. It has a higher proportion of steers to heifers than the rest of the region.

3. The statistical analysis of the data has made it possible to partition the region into four main groups of centres, which show significant differences in the size of the fat cattle.

4. The superiority of group 1 has been demonstrated in relation to (a) the seasonally of deliveries, (b) the percentage grading and (c) in the average live weights.

5. These differences are examined in greater detail by comparisons of the deliveries to the Pembroke and to the Llandilo centres. These show that Pembroke is superior in average live weights, percentage grading and in the proportion of steers to heifers.

6. The ungraded cattle are also examined, and the results indicate the same trends within the region as for the graded cattle.

7. The possible explanation of the variations or the ecology of beef production has been discussed in the light of Ashton's (1930) suggestions that variations in body size between cattle of different breeds is mainly due to the calcium and phosphorus content of the soil.

8. The conclusion is drawn that differences of climate dominate the whole picture, because of the effect of rainfall on leaching and soil erosion, as well as on the quality of the harvested fodders, the effect of temperature on the length of the growing season and of the beneficial influence of sunshine on the quality of both grass and hay.

Research Article
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1951

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