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Shorthorns shine in Scotland’s first cattle-only on-farm Yourbid sale

29 January 2021

Over 300 online bids were placed during an on-farm breeding cattle sale, hosted by Fearn Farm, Ross-Shire on Friday 22 January 2021.

The sale which included beef shorthorn bulls, in calf heifers and maiden heifers reared by the Scott family, was the first 100 percent 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 £9600 for Fearn NC 500 selling to Gill and Co, Brucefield, Portmahomack with his half-brother Nonu just behind him at £9400 to Harry Strawson, Hexgreave Estate, Nottinghamshire, whilst another, Nevis sold at £7600 to Antrim Estates, Glenarm, Northern Ireland.

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 £5100 for Fearn Isobel to George Shanks, Northern Ireland and £4050 to Eric Evans, Wales, whilst semen hit £55 per straw on four occasions for lots of 5.

Fearn Elmer also made his mark in the sale with sons selling to £6300 for Fearn North Star to the Green family, Corskie whilst an unregistered bull made £5300 again to Gill and Co Brucefield.

Three-year-old bulls sold to £4400 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 expectations, 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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