The added value of Simmental genetics continues to gain commercial recognition for efficiency and profit, allied to strong ‘green’ credentials. AHDB’s confirmation of the breed’s age at slaughter abilities is coupled with Simmental sired progeny being fast growing with terrific weight for age, hitting industry specs and producing high quality carcases with a high retail beef yield. Maternal mainstays of the suckler herd, Simmentals are high quality suckler cows; full of milk; fertile; easy calving; can calve at two years old; and who can wean calves at 50% of their bodyweight at 200 days. These are the natural attributes of the modern British Simmental striking a chord with commercial beef producers. With the Christmas festivities just around the corner, December was a foreshortened month of commercial sales but there were still plenty of Simmental sale toppers to report on:

A small pre-Christmas offering of store cattle and stirks at Exeter on 22nd December saw a continuation of the recent uplift in prices when store steers rose to a top of £1680 given for a Simmental from South Battisborough Farm of Plymouth.

A small but quality run of cattle at Hallworthy on 21st December sold to a tremendous trade. Top spot going to R T Crabb of Boscastle with a run of Simmental x Cattle, their best a pair of 19-month-steers to £1560, next a single Steer to £1485 and a black shapey 18 month Simmental to £1450. Top heifers again from the Crabb Family with a pair of fleshy Simmental Heifers to £1335 and another at £1330.

On Wednesday 20th December at Carlisle, Harrison & Hetherington held their weekly sale of bulls and weaned cattle seeing trade rise to similar levels of the Spring. Heifers topped at £1310 for Simmentals from Messrs Goldsbrough, Oakrigg Farm, Moffat.

At Dungannon Farmers Mart on 20th December, Suckled Cows and Calves sold to £1140 for a Sim Cow with a SHB Bull Calf at foot presented by D McCullough.

In a sale of baby rearing calves at Monmouthshire on 20th December, one month old Simm X bull calves sold to £345 for MA & MJ Williams, Rowlestone.

At Dingwall on 19th December, Dingwall & Highland Marts Ltd held a small sale of prime cattle. Prime Heifers averaged 275.3p per kg and sold to 284p per kg for a 570kg Simmental cross from Easter Sheep Park, Balblair.

At Bentham’s small sale of cast cows on 19th December, beef bred cows topped at 186p, £1469 for a Simmental X from Messrs Fare of Preston. On the previous day at a sale of rearing calves Simmentals topped the heifers at £300 from Cote Farm Partnership, Nether Kellet, with the same vendor selling a sweet young Simmental bull to £400.

On Monday 18th December 2023 at Lanark, Lawrie and Symington Ltd held their final sale of calves and stirks of 2023 with 68 calves and stirks forward. The sale was topped by Simmental Bullocks from Messrs M Hunter & Sons, Dawyck Mill Farm, Peebles at £950.

Market Drayton’s sale of 511 rearing calves on 18th December saw continental heifers being the trade of the day. Top call was £320 for a Simmental from W.J Holdcroft, Sandbach.

In a sale of UTM heifers at Sedgemoor on 18th December, heifers sold to £1746.36 for a pure bred Simmental (648kg) from R Bigwood, Burnham on Sea.

In a sale of barren, OTM, and feeding cows on 18th December at Bakewell, the top grossing cows were Simms at £1702.74, and £1544.48 from Mosley & Co, Chelmorten.

In a sale of barren cows at Whitland Mart on 16th December, the top price was £1,550/263p per kilo for a 590 kilos Tested Simmental cow from Rees, Hundleton.

At Thainstone on 15th December, Aberdeen & Northern Marts held a sale of store cattle forward from Orkney Consignors. Bullocks Sold to £1,800 gross for a pair of 618kg Aberdeen Angus from A D Miller, to 310.6p per kg for a pair of 454kg Simmentals from Hilton Farm, Shapinsay.

Also on 15th December at Thainstone, Aberdeen and Northern Marts sold 254 store cattle, young bulls and young and weaned calves. Bullocks (86) averaged 277.4p and sold to 310.6p per kg for a pair of 454kg Simmental Cross from Hilton, Shapinsay. At a small sale of adult breeding cattle in calf heifers sold to £2500 for a Simmental Cross Heifer from Hill of Fiddes, Udny. In Calf Cows sold to £2650 for a Simmental from the same vendor.

A good show of stirks and suckled calves met another strong trade at Exeter on 15th December. Richard Beckley of Black Dog topped at £805 for Simmental x steers (8m), with heifers topping out at £760 for Simmental crosses (9m), from the same vendor. In the stirks and suckled calves sale, MA Stephens up from Plymouth presented Simmental x suckled calves (10m) which topped out at £915.

At Hexham & Northern Marts final store sale of the year on 15th December, Sandy & Andrew Ord, Newton Greens brought forward their annual consignment of 50 Angus and Simmental cross steers at 15-18 months and these well-presented bullocks topped at £1780 (for the Simms) to average a very worthy £1504 throughout. Other Simmental x steers on the day topped at £1850 Beacon Rigg, £1820 (x2),
At a sale of cast cows, bulls, and prime cattle from Orkney vendors at Thainstone on 14th December, bulls sold to £1,840 gross for a 1140kg Simmental from K & K Morgan, Swanny Farm, Swannay.

Gisburns sale of Prime Cattle on 14th December saw a prime Simmental bull from E&M Fairhurst at 872kgs made £2464 to feature in the leading prices.

At Caledonian Marts, Stirling sale of prime cattle, young bulls and OTMs on 14th December, Beef OTMs sold to 229 ppkg for a Simmental from T Mitchell, East Gormyre, West Lothian.
United Auctions, Stirling on 13th December sold 590 store cattle & young bulls. Bullocks (287) averaged 270.60p to 307.20p per kg for a 472kg SIMX from South Falfield.

Thirsk’s prize show & sale of breeding cattle on 14th December saw a total entry of 117 head with some exceptionally good cattle on offer met very good demand throughout. Top price of the day at £2850 was a Simmental X, In calf heifer from Amblers lodge, Shipton (this consignment of 10 averaged £2373).

At Hallworthy on 14th December, a dispersal of Hereford Cows with Simmental x Calves at foot from S Chudleigh of Launceston saw his best outfit to £1710 for a cow with 6 month calf at foot and second outfit to £1700, younger cows and heifer calves to £1400 twice.

On 13th December at a small sale of prime cattle at Frome, the top gross price for UTM steers was £1585 for a Simmental from Waddon Farms Ltd, Westcombe.

In a sale of rearing calves at Monmouthshire on 13th December, the bull calves were topped by a Simm at £350 from CWC Waters.

C&D Auction Marts Ltd held their December sale of Breeding and Store Cattle on 12th December at Longtown. A seasonal offering of stores were forward with a large proportion being young, hill bred cattle. A lovely run of very well bred Simmental in calf heifers consigned by WA & CM Vaughan, High Dovecote, Walton graced the cattle sale ring at Longtown. After some frantic bidding this super run of heifers topped the sale at £1,700 (x5), going on to average a very pleasing £1,672.

At Borderway Mart’s Primestock Sale, Carlisle on 11th December, prime bulls saw thirteen sell over £2000 and eight over £2300 to a day’s overall top of £2680.58 for a 1041kg Simmental for first time vendors at Borderways weekly Primestock sale, Messrs McCulloch, Over Hill House, Midlothian. Other Simmentals sold to £2209.06 for 868kg from Messrs Dyet, East Merkland, Lanarkshire. In the sale of prime cattle, heifers sold to a top of £2136.59 for a 759kg Simmental cross from Messrs Morton, Church Farm Penrith.
C & D Auction Marts Ltd Dumfries held their annual Christmas Show and Sale of Rearing Calves & Stirks on 11th December which sold to a large and active ringside of buyers. The Sale was topped by an excellent Simmental X bull calf from Mr D Shuttleworth Dumfries at £600.

Irving Pearson – Simmentals

In a sale of 616 rearing calves at Market Drayton on 11th December, Simms topped both the bulls and the heifers. Leading the bulls at £390 was J Gould & Son, with the heifers being led at £330 by Simms from Robert Butterworth.

On 9th December at Selby Livestock Auction Market and a sale of 570 store cattle, a Simm heifer from R Darlison made £1300 to feature in the top prices.

At Exeter’s store sale on 8th December, steers topped at £1630 for a pen of three striking Simmental bred bullocks (26m) for Michael Tooze up from Brixham, whilst DH and H Brain of Calverleigh saw younger (18m) Simmental steers rise to £1305. The heifer section saw a top of £1215 when John and Helen Keep sold their three shapely Simmentals (19m) for £1215.

On 8th December, Penrith & District Farmers’ Mart LLP held their fortnightly sale of rearing calves and stirks (96). Heifers topped at £800 for an 8-month-old Simmental from Mr J Findlay, Moorside Farm.

At C&D Auction Marts Limited Christmas Show & Sale of cast cows, bulls, & OTMs at Longtown on 7th December, the sale topped at £1,755 and £1,719 for Simmentals from Dempster Barguillean Partnership, Robmar, Argyll which also topped the price per kilo of 273p.

At Thirsk on 7th December and a sale of prime young bulls, the best grossing was £1911.39 for a Simmental x from H & L Dale & Sons, Loftus, purchased by Hartshead Meats Ltd, Ashton under Lyne.

On 7th December at Hallworthy’s sale of store cattle, J Vokes of Lockengate topped this section with a real stunner of a Simmental x Heifer to £1400 and a slightly smaller Heifer also a Simmental x to £1215. In a sale of suckled calves, A Varcoe of Bodmin took first prize Steers, with a trio of well-shaped and fleshed Simmental x steers which went on to make £1075, with a second bunch at £1065.

In a sale of calves at Carmarthen on 6th December, top price was £385 for a 1-month-old Simm bull from Davies, Cottage Farm

At Dungannon Farmers Mart on 6th December, heifer prices peaked at £1780 for a 690kg Sim (258.00) presented by F McVeigh. Suckled Cows and Calves topped at £2040 for a Sim Cow with a Lim Hfr Calf at foot presented by E Hagan.

At Truro’s sale of store cattle, steers up to one and a half year old were topped by Simmentals from Messrs E G Benney of Mawnan Smith, Falmouth, at £1345.

On 6th December at Stirling, United Auctions sold 523 store cattle & young bulls. Also 306 out of spec cattle, cast cows and bulls. Out of Spec averaged 211.29p to 251.50p per kg for a SIMX from Forestmill, and to £1810 for SIMX from Forestmill.
In a sale of prime cattle at Frome on 6th December, ‘U’ grade steers topped at 266p/kg & £1760 for a Simmental from JC Stainer, Semington.

In a sale of calves at Whitland on 5th December, heifers were topped at £400 by Simmentals from Green, Lampeter Velfrey. Simmental bulls on the day sold to £385 from Jones, Llangunnor.

On the 5th December Lawrie and Symington sold 248 Store and Breeding Cattle at their final sale of 2023 at Lanark. Bullocks sold to a top of 314.6p/kg for a pen of 8 Simmentals at 391kg from Messrs J & A Hutchinson, Roberton Mains Farm, Dolphinton.

At Ballymena on 5th December, a super trade for 200 store cattle was topped at £1650 by a 580kg Simm from J McHenry, Ballinderry.

On 5th December at Melton Mowbray, and a sale of prime cows, stock bulls & OTM cattle, the top gross was for heavy Simmental cows from NA Sercombe to £1525.82.

At the Primestock Sale at Borderway Mart, Carlisle on 4th December, twenty four bulls sold to £2000 and over and including Simmentals to £2285, and £2260 from Messrs Goldie, Newbie Mains, Annan.

In a sale at Whitland on 1st December, tested barren cows saw sold to £1,740 for a 770 kilo Simmental from Davies, Rhydiau, Crymych. In a sale of fat cattle, heifers were topped at £1540m 261 ppkg for a Simm heifer also from Davies, Crymych. In the sale of 309 store cattle, bulls sold to £1,320 for a 15 month Simmental from Dickerson, Birchgrove.

In a sale of 457 store cattle and suckled calves at Exeter on December 1st, store steers topped at a creditable £1620 given for a grand trio of Simmental bred bullocks (26m) from Michael Tooze of Brixham whilst the better of a super run of yearling Simmental steers from John Hull of Tiverton sold readily and to £1190.

At Thainstone on 1st December, Aberdeen and Northern Marts sold 404 store cattle, young bulls and young and weaned calves. Bullocks (176) averaged 300.8p and sold to £1755 gross for a pen of three 638kg Simmental Cross from Ardivot Farm, Lossiemouth. Heifers up to 250kg topped by The Hillocks (SimX) £610, with Nether Ardwell (SimX) at £520.