Tag Archives: QMS

Miss Scotland Dalmally13

Miss Scotland joins ringside bidding at Dalmally Mart

Miss Scotland, Ellie McKeating, entered into the ringside spirit at Dalmally Mart on Saturday (September 13th) when she joined in the bidding at the United Auctions’ sale.

Miss McKeating who is getting to know Scotland’s livestock sector better in her role as ambassador for Scotch Lamb with Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), created quite a stir at United Auctions’ biggest Annual Show and Sale of Blackface Lambs in recent years.

Clearly enjoying the buzzing atmosphere of a packed ringside at the sale, which had an entry of some 8000 lambs and feeding sheep, Miss Scotland successfully bid (on behalf on an undisclosed buyer) for a cheviot cross lamb from seller Stuart Galbraith of Barachander Farm, near Loch Awe.

The visit to one of Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers’ facility was part of Miss McKeating’s induction to the market system. It follows a number of engagements in recent weeks, including joining farmers across Scotland at sampling events during the recent “Love Scotch Lamb Weekend”, organised by QMS, NFU Scotland and the National Sheep Association.

And as she toured the bustling Dalmally market, Miss McKeating spoke with UA customers from Crieff, Crianlarich and Oban about their stock and was stopped for selfies by a trio of younger Oban farmers below (l-r Callum Leith, Blair Menzies and Ross Ferguson) who were selling at the bumper event.

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Miss McKeating said: “Many thanks to the United Auctions’ team and the farmers I met for making me feel so welcome. Having never been to a livestock auction market before it was great to learn about this traditional system and Dalmally Mart’s importance to livestock producers and the rural community in such a big area. On thing which came through very strongly was the pride the farmers and auctioneers take in the quality of the livestock and stockmanship skills in this part of Scotland.”

She went on to present the James Weir Memorial Trophy for the championship pen of Blackface Lambs to three generations of the Buchanan family of Achnaba Farm, Oban, including Archie Buchanan, his daughter Morag MacCorquodale, husband Donald and their son Donnie.

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The Buchanans also achieved the top price of £62.50 for their championship pen bought by Judge Bill Cameron from Keith in Aberdeen.

Miss Scotland also enjoyed a Scotch Lamb burger, courtesy of the marts’ café, at the end of her visit.

Peter Wood, UA’s auctioneer for the west of Scotland, said: “We were delighted to welcome Ellie to Dalmally. She brought an extra buzz to the place and made a very good sale in which sellers were up on the year even better.”

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Issued by JK Consultancy on behalf of United Auctions. For further information, please contact Jenny Kumar on 07989 557198 / jenny@jkconsultancy.com

Notes to editor

  • Pic caption (Miss Scotland Dalmally 7):Miss Scotland channels her inner Bo Peep at Dalmally.

About United Auctions

United Auctions (UA) are Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers and procurement specialists and operate a network of different auction markets across Scotland, including Stirling, Huntly, Lairg, Dalmally, Tiree, Islay, South Uist and an area office and lairage facility at Oban. The company conducts auctions of both commercial and pedigree livestock, including the world-famous Stirling Bull Sales, and provides farm-to-farm and farm-to-abattoir procurement services. In 2013, UA was named in the London Stock Exchange’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’.

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Miss Scotland to make market ‘debut’ at Dalmally

Miss Scotland, Ellie McKeating, is set to visit her first ever livestock sale when she attends Dalmally Mart next week.

United Auctions will welcome Miss McKeating to their Annual Show and Sale of around 6000 Cross Bred and Blackface Wedder Lambs and Feeding Sheep on Saturday, September 13th, 2014.

The visit to one of Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers’ important facility in the west, will form part of Miss McKeating’s induction to the industry in her role as a “Lambassador”, supporting Quality Meat Scotland’s ongoing promotion activities behind Scotch Lamb.

Miss McKeating has been meeting with farmers to learn more about the industry and the stockmanship skills involved in sheep farming and also took part in Scotch Lamb sampling events around the country during Love Scotch Lamb Weekend (August 23rd and 24th).

During her visit, Miss McKeating will experience the market system first-hand at the ringside, meet farmers from Argyll and the islands and view the quality livestock on offer before presenting the James Weir Memorial Trophy for the best pen of Blackface lambs.

Ellie McKeating, who was crowned Miss Scotland in May 2014, said: “I’m really looking forward to speaking to the farmers at my first market visit, seeing the livestock and learning more about where our wonderful Scotch Lamb comes from.”

Donald Morrison, Area Managing Director for Argyll and the Islands said: “We’re pleased to welcome Miss Scotland to Dalmally in what will be a strong line-up of top quality stock going through the mart. We’re looking ahead to a busy season of sales with the tup sale and calf sale in October so it’s a great introduction to the industry and particularly the west of Scotland.”

Auctioneer for the West of Scotland, Peter Wood said: “It’s great that Miss McKeating’s visit is highlighting the essential part that Dalmally plays in the area and I’m sure that she’ll enjoy the drama of the sale ring.”

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Issued by JK Consultancy on behalf of United Auctions. For further information, please contact Jenny Kumar on 07989 557198 / jenny@jkconsultancy.com

 Notes to editor

  • Picture caption: Ellie McKeating, Miss Scotland, in a Scotch Lamb branded dress.
  • The James Weir Memorial Trophy was introduced in 2010 to honour the late leading livestock auctioneer. Donated by Mrs Weir in memory of her husband, it is an annual prize at the sale to mark Jimmy’s involvement and passion for the area and the mart.

 

About United Auctions

United Auctions (UA) are Scotland’s leading livestock auctioneers and procurement specialists and operate a network of different auction markets across Scotland, including Stirling, Huntly, Lairg, Dalmally, Tiree, Islay, South Uist and an area office and lairage facility at Oban. The company conducts auctions of both commercial and pedigree livestock, including the world-famous Stirling Bull Sales, and provides farm-to-farm and farm-to-abattoir procurement services. In 2013, UA was named in the London Stock Exchange’s ‘1000 Companies to Inspire Britain’.

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Scottish Mart Meetings State Tight Global Beef Supplies Will Keep Prices High

Beef prices look likely to remain firm on the back of a tight supply of cows and calves in the chain, according to Stuart Ashworth of Quality Meat Scotland (QMS), who spoke at a series of beef meetings held at four of Scotland’s Marts, including Stirling Agricultural Centre.

At the events organised by Bank of Scotland, Keenan and QMS at Thainstone, Lanark, Dingwall and Stirling auction marts, local farmers heard that the Scottish beef herd is very challenged following high culling rates. “There is little prospect of significantly more cattle appearing over the next couple of years so the tight supply will remain,” he said.

Mr Ashworth suggested that the supply and price dynamics are also likely to be affected going forward by low animal numbers in many parts of the world, for example numbers in the USA, one of the world’s biggest beef trader, are significantly down on stock as a result of the drought in 2011.

This worldwide shortfall will limit where domestic and international buyers could seek alternative supplies. “There is a tight supply everywhere, so prices will remain firm; there will be no cheap beef for the EU market. However, with consumer confidence remaining fragile, farmgate prices may be constrained by consumers’ willingness to pay higher retail prices.”

The audience consensus was that the supply and price equation certainly points to opportunity for those with cattle to fatten and finish, as well as those selling stores. However the high price of feed is still a big concern as is the outcome of the CAP reform, which is making many reticent to invest in upping cow numbers.

The Bank of Scotland and Keenan focused their discussions on the need for improved efficiency in production to give the confidence that good margins can still be made independent of the single farm payment.

“The rise in beef price since August 2009 has been 17%; over the same period feed wheat prices have increased by 76%, so what can farmers do to capture the value that we’re seeing in rising sale prices, whilst insulating yourselves from these increases in input costs?” Sandy Hay from the Bank of Scotland asked.

Mr Hay said production efficiency equates directly to business efficiency, which gives the bank’s enhanced confidence in lending to farmers looking to capitalise on the undoubted domestic and export opportunities. “The QMS average for feed plus forage cost is 50%, a 10% reduction in costs would give a net margin improvement per finisher of £22.31 whilst a 10% reduction in feeding days from the QMS average of 221 days to 199 days would yield an improvement of £20.65 per head.”

In addition to feed costs and feeding days, Mr Hay suggested that it was imperative that producers should also focus their attention on feed conversion efficiency (FCE) – “an improvement in FCE from the average of 182kg gain/tonne of feed up to 200kg gain/tonne of feed would yield another £16.72/head. The combination of a 10% improvement in all three areas would be £59.68/head.”

Keenan’s Robert Gilchrist said that feeding the Keenan Mech-Fiber System way is all about driving efficiency improvements.  “The average improvement for beef finishing units using the System is £47/head based on feeding a similar ration but presenting it in a more physically effective manner. This improves rumen function and, in turn, animal performance.”

He explained that FCE is one of the most important measures for any livestock farmer; it is widely used by pig and poultry farmers but should also be the focus of beef farmers. “The measure of feed conversion efficiency is kilos of liveweight gain per tonne of dry matter fed. This means that if feed is costing £150/tonne of dry matter and you were to improve your FCE by 10% from 100 to 110, the cost per kilo would fall by 14 pence.”

“Achieving marked improvements in FCE is our goal and it boils down to the physically effective mix that you get from the Keenan,” he explained. “The Mech-Fiber as we call it encourages the animal to chew the cud for longer, slowing the passage of feed through the rumen and improving the level of digestion.” He added that the other real gain for first time Keenan users is that for many it gives them very accurate feed intake and cost information for the first time. “If you can’t measure it, how do you know how you’re doing?”

Stuart Ashworth concluded that there is certainly opportunity for beef producers going forward, but the one thing that would give them the confidence they need to invest for the future is improving their production efficiency.

David Leggat, Executive Chairman of United Auctions, who chaired the largest seminar, held at Stirling Agricultural Centre, said: “Numbers of store cattle forward at our weekly sales are well ahead of last year due to prevailing buoyant prices and also a shortage of bedding and feed stuffs in some areas. This is likely to mean a reduction of numbers in April, the traditional time for buying store cattle for the grass. “

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For more information, please contact:

Jane Craigie, Jane Craigie Marketing on 01466 780078 / 07795 278767

jane@janecraigie.com

Or

On behalf of United Auctions:

Jenny Kumar, JK Consultancy on 07989 557198 / jenny@jkconsultancy.com