MORE than 300 online bids were placed during an on-farm breeding cattle sale, hosted by Fearn Farm, Ross-Shire, on Friday, January 22.
The sale, which included Beef Shorthorn bulls, in-calf heifers and maiden heifers reared by the Scott family, was the first 100 per cent cattle sale in Scotland using the innovative Yourbid system. Developed by a farming family in New Zealand to run livestock sales during the Covid-19 lockdown, the transparent bidding model allows all lots to be visible simultaneously, helping establish relative market values.
Nine two-year-old Beef Shorthorn bulls sold to a top of £9,600 for Fearn NC 500, selling to Gill and Co, Brucefield, Portmahomack, with his half-brother Nonu just behind him at £9,400 to Harry Strawson, Hexgreave Estate, Nottinghamshire, whilst another, Nevis, sold at £7,600 to Antrim Estates, Glenarm.
All three of these bulls were by the £20,000 Fearn Godfather whose females and semen were also in demand selling to a top of £5,100 for Fearn Isobel to George Shanks, Northern Ireland, and £4,050 to Eric Evans, Wales, whilst semen hit £55 per straw on four occasions for lots of five.
Fearn Elmer also made his mark in the sale with sons selling to £6,300 for Fearn North Star to the Green family, Corskie, whilst an unregistered bull made £5,300, again to Gill and Co, Brucefield.
Three-year-old bulls sold to £4,400 for the favourite Fearn Mey, who heads north to Mackintosh, Glengolly in Caithness.
For John Scott, who has been organising on-farm ram sales since 2012 with his wife Fiona, the Yourbid system has allowed them to continue selling their stock whilst adhering to lockdown regulations.
“This format is a fantastic solution for the challenging times we live in at the moment and offers a long-term alternative method to selling livestock with many benefits.
“We have dreamt of having our own cattle sale now for some time and although we had envisaged it being more of a social occasion, the day worked well and we have been able to sell cattle all over the UK and Ireland in a clear and transparent manner.”
The sale included Luing bulls and heifers which, on this occasion, did not sell but, according to John, it was just not the right time.
“The Shorthorns exceeded our expect-ations, and we are delighted to see our genetics travel across the UK. Unfortunately, it was too early in the season for the Luing animals, however, one of the benefits of these sales is we can be confident in our high health status as the animals have not left the farm.”
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