Moyarget Holstein herd comes under the hammer

Picture (left to right): Des Simpson, Michael Stewart-Moore, Sue Stewart-Moore, Brian Walker
Picture (left to right): Des Simpson, Michael Stewart-Moore, Sue Stewart-Moore, Brian Walker

The final dispersal sale of the entire milking section of the Moyarget farm herd on behalf of Michael and Sue Stewart-Moore, will take place at Kilrea Mart on Tuesday, 20th March at 11.30am.

The sale includes 85 milking stock with an outstanding wealth and depth of breeding.

Of the animals on show, 15 are graded Excellent, 25 are VG and over, with half on offer only in their 1st or 2nd lactation.

This sale marks the end of an era at Moyarget. The story began in 1971 when Michael’s father Hume bought the farm from his elder brother James. In 1978 the suckler herd was sold off and milking began with British Friesian cows sourced locally. Michael’s mother Clare was instrumental in grading up the herd to full pedigree status while at the same time making the move from Friesian to Holstein. This was achieved by selected use of AI and also by buying in pedigree stock from local farms as well as from herds across the water such as Huddlesford, Stardale and Manorpowis. Cow families that came from these purchases continue to have a profound effect on the herd to this day.

Michael and Sue took over the reins in 1995 ably assisted by Des Simpson and Brian Walker, both of whom have worked on the farm for over 25 years.

The emphasis since 1995 has been to maintain a largely closed herd and to produce surplus female stock for sale locally. Some readers will have been present at the sale of the spring calving cows in June last year in Kilrea; those animals consisted mainly of 4th, 5th and 6th calvers reflecting the breeding policy at Moyarget. We all need cows that can thrive in a cubicle environment and which have the potential to last way beyond four lactations. Average herd yields have been consistently over 9,000 litres on twice a day milking. This sale gives purchasers and breeders a unique opportunity to obtain stock from a long established, renowned, herd of top quality stock.

For more information or a herd brochure email suejsm@hotmail.co.uk or contact Auctioneers H.A. McIlrath & Sons Ltd Tel: 02829540269.