Stirling: Simms £425 dearer and Charolais average £8k

Commercial suckler farmers helped drive a strong trade at Stirling this week (20 February), encouraged by strong beef prices and store cattle 15% dearer than a year ago.

A string of nine deadweight price increases, dating back to before Christmas, provided the ideal confidence boost for trade, with factories quoting base prices of 475p/kg last week.

This is 17% higher on the year, an increase followed closely by store cattle. Quality Meat Scotland data showed 12-18-month Scottish steers had averaged close to £1,300 in February, while 6-12-month-old cattle were at £1,100, up 12% on the year. 

See also: Confident beef trade blows away autumn blues at Stirling

Charolais to £30,000

Averages were close to record levels in the Simmental ring and smashed the £8,000 barrier in the Charolais ring, with the Barclays of the Harestone herd, Insch, Aberdeenshire, topping the sale at 30,000gns.

Harestone Sandiego is a Goldies Oasis son out of the Vallant daughter Harestone Jean. He boasts a terminal sire index of 80 and caught the eye of H Goldie, South Bowerhouses, Dumfries.

Bull at an auction sale

Harestone Sandiego: 30,000gns © Tim Scrivener

Close behind at 28,000gns was the Maerdy Onedirection son Balmyle Sandy from WP Bruce, Meigle, Perthshire.

He is from one of the herd’s top families, being out of Balmyle Nellie and going back to Harriet. Sandy crossed the water with JA Connolly of Brigadoon Charolais, Ballynahinch.

Bull at auction

Balmyle Sandy: 28,000gns © Tim Scrivener

Simmentals 28,000gns

A strong clearance rate, 20 bulls at 9,000gns or more, and two past the 20,000gns mark left a new February sale average record of £7,260 in the Simmental ring.

Alan Wilson’s Bannhill herd, Rathfriland, County Down, made the headlines by topping the trade at 28,000gns.

The June 2021-born Kilbride Farm Bantry son Bannhill Farm Masterpiece is out of the Auchorachan Wizard daughter Ballinalare Farm Evita.

Bannhill Farm Masterpiece: 28,000gns © Tim Scrivener

The second top price was 20,000gns and also for an Ulster bull, this time for the much-admired junior reserve champion Hiltonstown Matrix from Richard and Rhys Rodgers, Portglenone, County Antrim.

Matrix is by Saltire Impressive and out of the Kilbride Farm Warren daughter Hiltonstown India Rose. He is in the top 5% of the breed for 400- and 600-day growth and has a strong milk score. He caught the eye of Ross King of the Wolfstar herd, Ormiston, East Lothian.  

Hiltonstown Matrix: 20,000gns © Tim Scrivener

Salers top at 6,000gns and females

A clearance rate of 57% and a slight fall in the bull average was reported by the Salers breeders, which saw trade slip back £574 on the year to £4,235.

Darnford Ross from Aberdeenshire breeder David Watson topped the sale at 6,000gns. Ross was the intermediate champion and sold to the judge John Wilman, manager at Glenkiln Farms, Dumfries.

Darnford Ross: 6,000gns © Tim Scrivener

Ross is a Barcardi Nice Guy son and out of the home-bred Darnford Faith.

Females from the Livesey’s Cleuchhead herd were in demand, with all five myostatin-free, in-calf heifers finding new homes, topping at 2,500gns and levelling at £2,310.

The Scottish Government Bull stud in Inverness paid 5,500gns for Whitebog Robert and 3,000gns for Cumbrian Rambo Poll. Robert was consigned by Black Isle breeder Alister MacKenzie, Fortrose, and is a July 2021-born son of Whitebog Lascar and out of Whitebog Ivana.

Averages: 97 (+8) Simmentals, £7,260 (+£425), 88% clearance; 12 Salers (-8), £4,235 (-£574) 57%; 101 Charolais (unchanged), £8,034 (-£415), 79% clearance (United Auctions)