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September 2015: Buyers market as Holstein heifers achieve 91% clearance at Moira

Quality heifers with volumes of milk and good components met a strong demand from commercial bidders at Holstein NI’s September show and sale, held at Moira.

“Despite poor farmgate prices, there is still a demand for modern Holstein heifers which will milk and thrive in a variety of management systems,” said auctioneer Michael Taaffe.

“It was definitely a buyers market, with the majority of heifers in the catalogue changing hands between 1,100gns and 1,430gns. Prices are reflective of the current climate, but vendors continue to put forward an entry of high calibre heifers backed by generation after generation of proven genetics.

 “The sale’s 91% clearance rate is a positive outcome in uncertain times. “

The pre-sale show was judged by Sam Wadsworth from the Glenwood Herd based at Lisburn. He awarded the supreme championship, generously sponsored by Irwins Feed, to Ards Alexander Zandra from Harry Patton and Sons, Newtownards.

Born in April 2013, and sired by the popular Golden Oaks ST Alexander, she is bred from the Regancrest Dundee daughter Smiddiehill Zahra ET VG89, who averaged 9,686kgs at 3.89% fat and 3.29% protein in three 305-day lactations.

Calved one month and yielding 34 litres daily, this potential eighth generation VG/EX heifer attracted strong competition from several pedigree breeders around the salering, as well as a County Offaly telephone bidder.

“The champion was a very special heifer, and probably one of the best Holstein heifers to sell at Moira for a few years,” said Michael Taaffe. “She sold at 2,350gns to Robert Stewart’s Quinton herd at Portaferry, County Down.

Claiming the reserve championship was Glasson Ashby G Melody from Philip and Simon Haffey’s herd at Portadown. Sired by the home-bred Picston Shottle son Glasson Ashby, she is bred from a VG88 Braedale Goldwyn daughter who gave almost 10,000kgs at 4.19% fat and 3.23% protein in her second 305-day lactation. Producing 32 litres daily, the reserve champion joins Robert and Gavin McKnight’s Templepatrick-based herd at 1,225gns.

Honourable mention went to Carrowcroft Lover B Ruby, a Majestic Lover daughter, bred by Geoffrey Patton, Carrowdore, County Down. She changed hands at 1,620gns, and joins William Herron’s commercial herd at Newtownhamilton, County Armagh.

Second highest bid of the day 1,750gns was paid to Sam and John McCormick, Bangor, for their unshown Hilltara Massey Rachel. Sired by the Mascol son, Co-op Bosside Massey, she is bred from Hilltara Baxter Rachel VG, and sold to William Herron.

Also on Mr Herron’s shopping list at 1,740gns was Hilltara Massey Flo, another Massy daughter from the McCormick team, bred this time from Hilltara Toystory Flo.

Average: 20 heifers 1,386.

FW Moira 1

Supreme champion was Ards Alexander Zandra shown by Andrew Patton, Newtownards. Adding their congratulations are judge Sam Wadsworth, Lisburn; and sponsor Andrew West, Irwins Feed.

FW Moira 2

Admiring the udder on the reserve champion are judge Sam Wadsworth, Lisburn; and Ian Cummins, Irwins Feed, sponsor. Included is vendor Philip Haffey, Portadown.

FW Moira 3

Honourable mention award went to Geoffrey Patton's Carrowcroft Lover B Ruby. Included are Andrew West, Irwins Feed, sponsor; and judge Sam Wadsworth, Lisburn.

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