14 May 1999

Breeding stock sees a revival

A REVIVAL in prices for breeding cattle saw bidding back at pre-BSE levels to top £2250, reports Aberdeenshire-based Huntly market.

Auctioneer Blair Dufton said demand for the 358-head entry of mainly home-bred heifers with Limousin calves at foot was exceptional.

"Demand has been prompted by a lack of quality heifers for breeding up here in the north. Fewer were put to the bull last winter, and to be honest we could have sold double those entered."

Top price went for a black Limousin heifer with bull calf at foot entered by R Smith of Wester Coull, Tarland, which was snapped up by the days judge James Anderson of Gray & Adams, Altnaharra Estate, Lairg.

Reserve champion – again a black Limousin cross heifer with bull calf at foot – from Messrs W G Strachan, Mill of Balmaud, King Edward, sold for £1600 to John Christie of Drumin Smithy, Glenlivet.

"Quality heifers and calves averaged £1157," adds Mr Dufton. Top price for female couples went for a blue heifer with a Limousin cross heifer calf at foot for £1850. Bulls sold to £1120.