After a slow start in the spring the summer has turned out to be a great year for growing grass but a very difficult harvest has at last been completed with the last of the oats safely through the dryer and the winter barley sown and through the ground. Good yields all round but we may be short of bedding straw unless the weather relents and we get a few days of sunshine and a drying winds. Now the October sale is just round the corner and I am pleased with the team we plan to take to the sale. We have sold three bulls privately recently but none of them were planned for the October sale. Jeremy Price has bought a son of Balthayock Impression, Balthayock Marksman, a young bull with EBVs of 76/80, so he will set me a challenge to try and top the list of the Charolais Societys list of promising young bulls when his progeny start appearing! Another son has gone to Laurie Dorien in Eire who has been for many years one of our most loyal supporters, and a son of Merdier Grenadier has gone to the Macaulays at Thornhill.

We are bringing three sons of Maerdy Grenadier to Stirling – Magnus, Mungo and Maestro. Grenadier was male and junior interbreed champion at the RHS in 2013 and since then has bred this years RHS female champion (bred by Jim Muirhead). Included among his sons we are entering for Stirling is Balthayock Maestro, a full brother to Balthayock Loyalist who won the Stirling junior championship last October.

Majestic, a bull in the top 1% of the National Herd, and Maximum, are two very promising sons of Balthayock Imp and the first to be offered for sale. Imp was the RHS male champion and junior Interbreed champion in 2015, and with over forty calves now on the ground, has proved to be a very easy calving bull.

Our last two bulls are sired by Balthayock Impression who I believe is the highest rated bull in the National Herd. Musketeer is out of Balthayock Emily. She is by Balthayock Valentine who we used here on heifers for many years because of his easy calving EBV. Emily has two sons still on the farm. Meteor, a Barbican Lancer son we will probably keep to use on heifers and Napoleon who was the top bull in September in the Charolais Societies list of promising young bulls. Both these two bulls are in the top 1% of the National Herd. The two Impression sons sold privately have averaged five figures. Impression now has over forty one calves on the ground and he has proved to be very easy calving and his progeny particularly good natured. We plan to invite Catherine MacGregor as usual to take some photographs of our entries for the sale provided it stops raining!

With the premium for Angus sired cattle beginning to fall as supply meets demand, this is surely the moment to invest in a top quality Charolais bull with an easy calving EBV and outstanding genetic ability for live weight gain. There is nothing to beat a good Charolais and maybe the only way in the future to make a real profit from a suckler herd.