ONE of the most successful dispersals of Holsteins and red-and-white cattle took place at Raughton Farm, Dalston, Cumbria, the day before the livestock movement ban was introduced.
The herd was managed by Mark Shadwick and his family, who ran a very successful farming enterprise.
Mark’s strong point has always been his ability to be a market leader in the development of new breeds of dairy cattle and other livestock. This was proved in the dispersal, when for the first time in the UK, Swedish and Danish red-and-white cattle were sold at public auction.
Top price of 3,500gns was paid for a Fyn Cent daughter. Frida calved early last January and was sold back in-calf to B Jurist, one of the leading red-and-white sires in the world.
She now joins one of the other leading red-and-white breeders in the UK – J Morrison, Inch, Downpatrick, Northern Ireland – who said after the sale that “the Scandinavian red has an extremely important role in the future of dairy farming”.
Selling alongside the red-and-whites was the Raughton herd of Holstein cattle.
This herd was restocked after the devastation of foot-and-mouth in 2001, with functionally correct commercial cattle, some of which came from pedigree herds. Most of the Holsteins sold were in calf to a Swedish or Danish red, which was one of Mark’s breeding policies.
He said: “I think crossing the Swedish red with the Holstein cow will result in an animal with high production gained from the Holstein blood, but at the same time improving its fertility, longevity, butter fat and protein percentages. Therefore, improving the bottom line.”