Buyers from Somerset, Hereford, Wiltshire and Staffordshire competed with local farmers for a herd of 77 organic dairy cattle which was attracted a strong trade at a successful dispersal sale in Mid Wales.
Mervyn, Beryl and Sarah Edwards, of Tyn y Maes, Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant, sold their herd of Holstein, Brown Swiss and Montbeliarde cross cattle at the farm on Monday, December 4. The family has retired from milk production to focus on its flock of sheep.
The herd comprised 66 in-milk and dry cows, nine in-calf heifers due in January and two bulling heifers. The cows were all-year round calving and, 12 years ago, a three-way cross of Montbeliarde, Brown Swiss and Holstein was introduced, resulting in cows with great legs and feet, described by cattle auctioneer Jonny Dymond, from Halls in Shrewsbury, as “exceptional”.
Prices were strong all day with many senior cows, which had been calved a while, achieving more than £1,400. Top price was £2,120 for a Norwegian Red cross heifer, which calved in October and sold to Mr T. Brook of Docklow.
A fourth calved Brown Swiss cross sold for £1,900 to Messrs P. Tolly of Somerset, who secured 16 cattle on the day, including another fourth calver for £1,800.
Dry cows sold in excess of £1,400 time after time, regardless of age. Top was £1,680 for a cow expecting her fourth calf and a cow due with twins for her ninth calving sold for £1,000.
“The sale offered a rare opportunity to purchase quality, organic dairy cattle, with the added benefit of the hybrid three way cross,” said Mr Dymond.
“We held the sale on the farm to retain the cattle’s organic status and encourage more buyers, which seemed definitely paid dividends.
“The sale had two unique elements: an organic herd, which is rarely dispersed and a three-way cross bred herd, which dairy farmers like because of the hardiness that you get from that sort of breeding.”