An analysis of prices paid for Aberdeen-Angus bulls at the Perth
sales two weeks ago clearly shows that buyers are seeking bulls with
a high terminal sire index.
The sale averaged £4357 for 141 bulls sold but the four bulls
in the top 1% with a terminal sire index of 31 or above averaged £11,865
and were all sold while the next 10% with an index of 24 to 30 averaged £5921
for 59 bulls with only 1% unsold.
In contrast, the 24 bulls with an index of 17 or under averaged
only £2761 and 41% were unsold while two bulls in the bottom
10% - an index of 11 or under – averaged £1995 and 60%
in this category were unsold.
“The message to Aberdeen-Angus breeders could not be clearer,” said
Ron McHattie, chief executive of the Aberdeen-Angus Cattle Society. “Buyers
are looking for bulls with figures to back up their looks and are
prepared to pay high prices for bulls demonstrating above-average
But Mr McHattie stressed that buyers were not only taking terminal
sire index into account but also other important performance information
such as 400-day and 600-day weights, eye muscle area, fat, retail
beef yield and milk which was important when the main consideration
was breeding heifers for replacements.
“These individual performance figures are highlighted as an
integral part of the Society’s innovative Breedplan recording
system and buyers are obviously finding this performance information
extremely valuable,” said Mr McHattie.
Only a handful of Aberdeen-Angus bulls offered for sale at Perth
were from unrecorded herds but Mr McHattie revealed that all but
two of these herds had now joined Breedplan.
The Society was the first UK beef breed society to adopt the Breedplan
performance recording programme and now provides a recording service
for the Beef Shorthorn, Simmental and Belgian Blue societies as well
as the Aberdeen-Angus breed, through the Society’s wholly-owned
subsidiary, Pedigree Cattle Services Ltd.
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