Beef Shorthorns sold to £9600 at an online breeding cattle sale from the Scott family’s Fearn Farm, Tain, Ross-shire, which attracted more than 300 online bids.

The sale which included bulls, in-calf heifers and maiden heifers reared by the family, was the first 100% cattle sale in Scotland using the Yourbid system. Developed by a farming family in New Zealand to run livestock sales during the Covid-19 lockdown, the transparent bidding model allows all lots to be visible simultaneously, helping establish relative market values.

Nine two-year-old Beef Shorthorn bulls sold to £9600 for Fearn NC 500, purchased by Messrs Gill and Co, Brucefield, Portmahomack, with his half-brother Nonu, just behind making £9400 to Harry Strawson, Hexgreave Estate, Nottinghamshire. Another bull, Nevis, made £7600 to Antrim Estates, Glenarm, Northern Ireland.

All three were sons of the £20,000 Fearn Godfather whose females hit a top of £5100 for Fearn Isobel, purchased by George Shanks, Northern Ireland, and £4050 to Eric Evans, Wales.

Sons of Fearn Elmer also proved popular, selling to £6300 for Fearn North Star to the Green family, Corskie, Fochabers whilst an unregistered bull made £5300 again to Messrs Gill and Co Brucefield.

Three-year-old bulls hit a high of £4400 for Fearn Mey, which sold to Messrs Mackintosh, Glengolly, in Caithness.

For John Scott, who has been organising on-farm ram sales since 2012 with his wife Fiona, the Yourbid system allowed them to continue selling their stock whilst adhering to lockdown regulations.

“We have dreamt of having our own cattle sale for some time and although we had envisaged it being more of a social occasion, it worked well and we have been able to sell cattle all over the UK and Ireland in a clear and transparent manner,” John said.

“The Shorthorns exceeded our expectations, unfortunately, it was too early in the season for the Luings, however, one of the benefits of these sales is we can be confident in our high health status as the animals have not left the farm.”