5 April 2002

Clash of dates hits heifer show

MILK producers were reluctant to part with their cash at last weeks Western Holstein Club show and sale in Cheshire, where 30 calved heifers averaged £767.

A clash with the Lancaster Holstein sales in neighbouring Lancs – now a Tuesday fixture – undoubtedly contributed to the lacklustre trade, along with the uncertainty over milk prices and the welcome spell of warm dry weather.

"It was hard going and reflected the cautious atmosphere within the dairy sector. There were no bulk buyers at the ringside and heifers were back about £50," said David Briggs of auctioneer Wright Manley.

The Sterndale prefix of Derbys-sellers W J Nadin and Co took top price at the Beeston Castle sale ring with a good heifer that reached 1400gns.

The February calved Sterndale Stormy Patty is by Maughlin Storm and out of a Rudolph dam that gave 9955kg in her second lactation. Paying top price was J R Williamson and Co, Nantwich.

A calved heifer from James Barbers Peelane herd, Congleton, Cheshire, made 1200gns. Peelane Grandslam Christy is bred from six successive generations of VG and Ex classified cows and is maternal sister to a 10,000kg heifer that made 3000gns.

This Grandslam heifer is out of a twice 9500kg-plus Lylehaven Ambition cow. She joined the Nantwich herd of JM Brindley.

Brian Moorhouse, whose family run the Aireburn herd at Skipton, North Yorks, was judging and found his champion in Brinstar Holsteins Brinstar James Gloriette. Later, he backed his judgement by paying 950gns for this Shoremar James daughter, which traces back to Gondola, one of the highest indexing Holsteins in Germany.

Averages 16 cows £714; 30 calved heifers £767 and nine bulls £525 (Wright Manley). &#42