Scottish farm launches its first online cattle sale

Covid-19 has prompted Ross-shire farmers the Scott family to host their own 10-day online cattle sale, following a successful ram sale last summer.

Forty-two pedigree Beef Shorthorn and Luing animals will be offered for sale, with a detailed catalogue available via Fearn Farm’s website.

Innovative farmers the Scott family, of Fearn Farm, Ross-shire, will today launch their first online breeding cattle sale (12th January).

“We always had plans to establish an annual on-farm cattle sale, similar to our ram sale, and with the uncertainties around Covid-19 we decided to progress the idea and host our first one this year,” says John Scott.

The sale, which will go live for 10 days from 3pm today, will be run via the YourBid system which was developed by David and George Giddings of Meadowslea Genetics, New Zealand, who integrated an online bidding option for their stud Angus female sale in 2020 whilst New Zealand was in lockdown.

After seeing the success of the sale, Fearn Farm teamed up with the McGowan family of Incheoch, Blairgowrie, to bring the Helmsman style online auction system to the UK for the first time in summer 2020, to host their successful on-farm ram sale.

“At Fearn, we strive to produce high health top quality stock from forage-based diets. The new online sale will allow us to sell stock direct from farm, putting minimal stress on the animals and our staff. It will also allow buyers across the UK and further afield, who may be feeling apprehensive about the current pandemic, the opportunity to purchase stock safely from their homes whilst lockdown restrictions are imposed across the UK.

“Bidding will commence on Tuesday 12th January and run online until Friday 22nd, but things should get interesting in the last hour or so on the final day,” explains John.

The Scott family teamed up with the McGowan family of Incheoch, Blairgowrie, for an online auction in summer 2020 for its on-farm ram sale. ©AnneMacPherson.

In total, forty-two pedigree Beef Shorthorn and Luing animals will be offered for sale with a detailed catalogue including images, performance figures and genetics available via Fearn Farm’s website, www.fearnfarm.com or their social channels.

John explains how the upcoming sale will give buyers the chance to purchase stock with genetics linking to some highly sought bloodlines to help drive their herds forward during these uncertain times.

“We have several bull and heifer lots sired by Fearn Godfather, who was originally sold for 10,000gns, then bought back three years later at auction for 20,000gns.

“He is one of the highest performance recorded animals in the breed and is a trait leader for calving ease; 200, 400- and 600-day weights; carcass weight and rib fat.”

John adds: “Other sires include Fearn Elmer – who has sired sons selling privately to 10,000gns, averaging over £5,000 for 25 sold and his daughters are breeding extremely well within the herd.”

The Luing offering will see bulls and bulling heifers available from the 50 cow RW Durham Scotsburn herd which is managed by the Scott family through a contract farming agreement, as well as progeny from the 50 cow Sutherland herd which is run by Scott Farming Co. Both these herds have been founded on the renowned Cadzow Bros Luing genetics.

John concludes: “All of the cattle for sale have been produced on grass and forage-based diets. Stock are part of Johnes level 1 and BVD accredited herds and have been double vaccinated for BVD, with the heifers also vaccinated for Lepto. All bulls forward have been semen tested prior to the sale.”

Fearn Naholo (2 y/o Shorthorn bull).

Fearn Phyliss (In-calf Shorthorn heifer).

For more information about the upcoming sale including videos of stock, guidance on how the Yourbid system works and to arrange transport for any animals purchased contact John Scott at admin@fearnfarm.com, 01862 832522 or via the Fearn Farm social channels.

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