THE Northern Ireland Simmental Cattle Breeders’ Club is inviting entries for its spring show and sale at Dungannon Farmers’ Mart on Friday, March 23. Entry forms are available from the auctioneers for the pedigree section of the sale, while the club is also seeking entries to fulfill the demand for quality commercial heifers and cows. The closing date for entries is Friday, February 9.
All entries must be tested and vaccinated for BVD. The pedigree bulls and females on offer will be veterinary inspected prior to the sale, and sold under the auspices of the National Beef Association.
The pre-sale show is generously sponsored by Irwin Feeds, with judging commencing at 10.30am, followed by the sale at 1pm. The commercial female sale will take place immediately after the pedigree auction.
The Simmental is noted for its dual purpose characteristics, producing milky, fertile cows with great temperament and natural mothering ability; while its terminal genetics produce excellent growth rates and superior carcases.
Club chairman Matthew Cunning said: “Simmental cattle offer a competitive edge when it comes to profitability. It’s a ‘true’ dual purpose breed suitable for a range of systems.
“Simmental progeny can be easily finished on low input systems, with cows capable of rearing a calf on milk thus reducing the need for expensive concentrates. The breed also boasts high growth rates and can achieve daily live weight gains in excess of 2kgs per day in intensive finishing systems.”
Matthew Cunning continued: “As a breed club we have recognised the demand for cross-bred Simmental females, and introduced a commercial element to our three annual sales across the country.
“Over the past few years we have witnessed an unprecedented demand for commercial females, with bidders willing to pay premium prices for good quality heifers and cows. At the October sale in Dungannon a commercial cow with heifer calf at foot sold for £1,900, and in-calf heifers peaked at £1,400. Maiden heifers sold at £880 over weight, realised by a 520kgs heifer at £1,400.
“Demand outweighs supply and as a result we want to attract a larger number of quality commercial Simmental-bred cattle for our spring show and sale.”
Pedigree entries should be returned to the auctioneers on or before Friday, February 9. Anyone interested in entering animals for the commercial section of the sale should contact Andrew Patterson on 077 5129 0406, or Robin Boyd on 077 9934 6784.
Commercial females will be on-farm inspected prior to the sale.