In a bid to provide dairy farmers the opportunity to bid for block-calving grazing cows at auction, Livestock Improvement Company (LIC) has joined forces with Barbers Auctions and Gwilym Richards as Market Drayton Dairy Sales to offer six specialist events.

The six days will focus on the first Mondays of February (7), March (7), April (4), September (5), October (3) and November (7) and the days will be marketed under the banner – Pasture to Profit Dairy Cattle sale – solid cows for solid income.

Detailed information on each entry will be provided in the catalogue, and with the first sale in February, farmers are being asked to get in contact now to enable the auctioneers to work on the catalogues as soon as possible.

“This is a real first and we’re really excited to be leading this initiative with Gwilym, Barbers and Market Drayton Market” says LIC lead consultant, Sean Chubb. “The cows farmers bring into their herds will have a huge impact on the future performance of that herd, no matter how long these cows remain in the herd. For this reason, we believe farmers need to have access to cows that meet the specific needs of their farm, milk contract and current position.”

Farmers will be asked to provide the information below for each animal – age, weight, calving dates (last and next), health status of herd and cows, breed makeup and sire information of cow as well as pregnancy details.

In addition, they’ll be asked for herd production and cow production figures and kg of milk solids to kg of liveweight with mating details based on calving pattern, length of mating period, six-week in calf rate and barren rate.

"The cow and herd information that we want farmers to put forward will help potential buyers to select the right cows for them and, at the same time, help sellers to realise the true value of the cows they are selling” added Sean.

“The timing of these sales will correspond with the key decision-making periods for block-calving farmers and help those impacted by TB through having windows to target to get clear.”