Trade for pedigree heifers at this week’s Holstein NI show and sale at Moira saw 18 lots change hands to average £1,286 per head in a 78% clearance.
Auctioneer Michael Taaffe said: “Prices topped at 2,140gns for the pre-sale champion, but the majority of heifers were selling at between 1,040gns and 1,400gns. It continues to be a buyers’ market, with breeders bringing forward a good selection of high yielding heifers and young cows, bred from proven cow families and international AI sires.
“Moira is recognised as Northern Ireland’s premier venue for pedigree Holsteins, and in the present economic climate, commercial herd owners realise that this is the place to buy high quality heifers at value for money prices.”
Leading the day’s bidding at 2,140gns was the supreme champion Relough Goldday Heather bred by the McLean family – Ronald, Malcolm and Barry, Donaghmore. Sired by Heidenskipster Goldday, she is out of an EX classified home-bred Ked Outside Jeeves daughter who averaged 9,293kgs at 4.18% butterfat and 3.22% protein in three lactations. Backed by seven generations of VG and EX dams, she calved three weeks ago and is giving 35 litres daily. Buyer was Kyle Henry who runs the Crankey Herd based at Jerrettspass, Newry.
Next best at 1,580gns was the second calver Hilltara Iota Charlotte 3 consigned by Sam and John McCormick, Bangor. Sired by the O Bee Manfred Justice son Regancrest Altaiota ET, she is bred from Hilltara Talent Charlotte 2 ET EX91-2E SP. This one was snapped up by commercial bidder William Herron, Newtownhamilton.
The McCormick duo also claimed the reserve championship with Hilltara Aftershock Maude, a potential 11th generation VG or EX heifer which sold at 1,400gns. Sired by Ms Atlees SHT Aftershock, she is bred from Hilltara Baxter Maude 3 VG87, and sold to Gordon Davis from Dromore, County Tyrone.
Also selling at 1,400gns to Gordon Davis was the McLean family’s Relough Danota Roxie 2. Sired by the Regancrest Altaiota son Relough Danota, she is bred from Relough Palermo Roxie VG87, who averaged 10,823kgs at 3.75% butterfat and 3.07% in two 305-day lactations. She is a potential twelfth generation VG or EX heifer.
Also on Gordon Davis’ shopping list at 1,350gns was the Ballycairn Tiergan daughter Relough Tiergan Amy. She was bred from Relough Hayden Amy VG86.
Following close behind at 1,340gns was Carrowcroft Mascol Mavis Ruby brought out by Geoffrey Patton, Carrowdore. Sired by Ballycairn Mascol Maris, she is bred from Carrowcroft Ked Jeeves Ruby who gave almost 8,000kgs at 4.28% butterfat and 3.49% protein in her heifer lactation. Buyer was Stephen Cargill from Parkgate, Ballyclare.
The honourable mention award went to Abercorn Atwood Elegance bred by David and Alan Wallace, Antrim. She was sired by stock bull Ballycrochan Atwood, and is bred from Abercorn Ballot Elegance who gave 9,339kgs at 4.09% butterfat and 3.48% protein in her second 305-day lactation. Buyer at 1,320gns was William Herron.
The pre-sale show was judged by Jason Booth from the Beechview Herd in Stewartstown, and generously sponsored by Danske Bank, represented by its agribusiness manager Elaine Alderdice.