A high Euro-Star beef replacement heifer sale was held on Tuesday 2nd December at Mayo-Sligo mart Ballina. The sale was organised by the Teagasc Mayo drystock advisors in conjunction with Mayo-Sligo Mart, ICBF and the Irish Farmer’s Journal. 44 heifers, which were pre-inspected and were all a minimum of 3 stars on the Replacement Index, were offered for sale. The stock on offer were of exceptional quality. 30 of the 44 animals were AI bred with progeny of some top maternal AI sires on offer. There was a large crowd in attendance with buyers coming from far afield. There was a clearance of 80%.
There was a packed ringside for the sale. Details of each heifers Euro-Star Index and ancestry were available to potential buyers which was a very positive development and generated a lot of discussion.
A decision was made by the organisers to give prizes to the best heifers. Two classes, one for 2013 born heifers and one for 2014 born heifers were decided upon. The judging took into account both the index of each heifer as well as their physical traits such as docility, functionality, and suitability to breed. Heifers were given a score out of 10 for both their index and physical traits and the highest scoring heifers were picked out for final judging. A first and second prize was awarded in both classes. Red and blue rosettes were provided by mart manager Billy Loftus which really added a novel effect to proceedings as none of the owners of the heifers had ever received a prize for an animal before. The winners of the classes are as follows:
- 1st Prize went to Lot 6, an October born Limousin x heifer by Ozeus (OZS). She had a Replacement Index of €162 (4.5 stars). She weighed 474 kgs and sold for €1380 (2.91 per kg). She was sold by Edward Gibbons, Louisburgh, Co. Mayo.
- 2nd Prize went to Lot 9 an August born Limousin x heifer again by Ozeus (OZS). She had a Replacement Index of €153 (4 stars). She weighed 442 kgs and sold for €1210 (2.74 per kg). She was sold by Patrick J Keane, Ballycastle, Co. Mayo.
- 1st Prize went to Lot 10 a February born Simmental x heifer by Curaheen Vio (CQA). She had a Replacement Index of €167 (4.5 stars). She weighed 420 kgs and sold for €1420 (3.38 per kg). She was sold by Johnny Hopkins, Ballycastle, Co. Mayo.
- 2nd Prize went to Lot 15 an April born Angus x heifer by Goulding Jumbo King (GJB). She had a Replacement Index of €228 (5 stars). She weighed 360 kgs and sold for €980 (2.72 per kg). She was sold by Martin Linnane, Ballina, Co. Mayo.
Teagasc Grange Herd
5 heifers were purchased to enter the suckler herd at Teagasc Grange, Co. Meath. These included:
- Lot 7 a Dec 2013 born Limousin x heifer by Hauteclair (HCA) out a Simmental x cow by Seepa Tee Jay (IS4). She had a Re-placement index of €206 (5 stars). She weighed 366 kgs and sold for €1170 (3.20 per kg). Sold by Edward Gibbons, Louis-burgh, Co. Mayo.
- Lots 9 and 10 (prize winners detailed above).
- Lot 18 a Jan 2014 born Limousin heifer by Hauteclair (HCA) out of a Limousin x Blue cow by But (FL25). She had a Replace-ment Index of €200 (5 stars). She weighed 326 kgs and sold for €1000 (3.07 per kg). Sold by Anthony Murphy, Ballina, Co. Mayo.
- Lot 19 a Dec 2014 born Limousin x heifer by Achile (AHZ) out of Blue cross cow by Espoir Du Jardin (EDJ). She had a Re-placement Index of €118 (3 stars). She weighed 356 kgs and sold for €1000 (2.81 per kg). She was sold by Thomas Browne, Westport, Co. Mayo.
The top priced heifers of the day were sold by Alan Wood, Crossmolina, Co. Mayo.
- Lot 35 a Dec 2012 born Charolais x heifer by Crossmolina Euro (CSQ). She had a Replacement Index of €135 (3.5 stars). She weighed 682 kgs and sold for €1690 (2.48 per kg).
- Lot 37 a Feb 2013 born Limousin x heifer by Castleview Casino (CWI). She had a Replacement Index of €116 (3 stars). She weighed 674 kgs and sold for €1650 (2.45 per kg).
- Lot 38 an April 2013 born Limousin x heifer again by Castleview Casino (CWI). She had a Replacement Index of €160 (4 stars). She weighed 686 kgs and sold for €1650 (2.41 per kg).
Reaction & Feedback
The event was very well received by those in attendance and there has been some great feedback in the days since the sale. The most common question being asked is “When will the next one be held”. Huge credit is due to John Noonan, Teagasc, Westport for driving the sale and making it a huge success. Nathan Tuffy of the Irish Farmer’s Journal gave good advice and gave the sale great coverage in his articles in the preceding weeks. Owen Keogh, Teagasc Ballina did a lot of work collecting tag numbers and also promoting the sale on a local radio slot which he does each week. Hopefully other marts will take note of the success of the sale and they will become more widespread in the coming years.