FOLK2FOLK was delighted to support the Christmas Primestock and Store Christmas Sale at Holsworthy Livestock Centre in Devon; recognising the Supreme Champion Calf.
Three worthy class winners lined up for the final, Messrs Cleave of Sutcombe with a 36-day old British Blue x bull calf, Messrs Collins Partnership of Pyworthy with a 39-day Lim x heifer and winning the Best Stirk, Messrs Rowe of Bodmin with another British Blue. The FOLK2FOLK Supreme Championship going to the stupendous heifer from the Collins Partnership, selling for £390 to Steve Smith from Woolsery. The same buyer also paid £400 for the best bull calf.
The calf is a by-product of the dairy industry and it has long irked me that many farmers fail to realise its full financial potential. Giving some tender loving care, over what is a very short period of time, can massively increase financial returns. In 2018 FOLK2FOLK started to address this issue by making a weekly Champion Calf Award at the Wednesday Holsworthy market; highlighting the standard of presentation and encouraging others to follow suit. Local auctioneer, James Morrish, commented after the show: “Our consistently high averages reflect the quality and condition of calves entered for sale, underpinned by the very buoyant beef trade.”
I will agree that the male progeny of extreme pure bred dairy Holstein dairy types and Channel Island breeds are very difficult to increase in value. However, sexed semen has become much more reliable and can increase the speed of genetic improvement within a herd. I was always a fan of a British Blue on a Guernsey; using the bull calf for bull beef production, yellow fat was never a problem and they had a decent value,
As we prepare for change to farm support, attention to detail will be paramount. For most farms this may mean some level of investment will be required. FOLK2FOLK understands farming why not talk to us about using your existing assets to secure the funding you need to reach your economic potential.
By Ian Bell, Head of Farming & Rural Engagement
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