01 Nov 2016

The Value of Pedigree

Q & A with Mark Davis, Kivells

We spoke to Mark Davis from Kivells to find out the value of pedigree in animals going to market. Mark, who operates from the Exeter Livestock Centre, focuses on the sale of livestock via auction and private treaty, and more particularly, dairy cattle. Coming from a dairy farm, Mark has successfully built sales of Channel Island breeds to a new level.

What are the benefits of creating a premium in the market?
Selling Pedigree animals can create a premium in the sale ring especially with buyers looking for a particular new cow family, certain breeding lines or indeed just a pedigree with multiple classifications. Pedigree animals should create a premium in the sale ring because of the above reasons and the depth of pedigree and years of dedicated breeding should have value.

What is the value of having pedigree in the market?
I think the value of having pedigree in the market is for breeding value and being able to use the pedigree as a tool and selecting the right bulls. Also with the TB problem still as strong as ever, being pedigree can make a big difference in the valuation received for reactors, it is not always the case with the table valuation but certainly for some parts of the UK it makes a massive difference.

What benefits does pedigree lead to?
I think pedigree can lead to breeding better animals and I do strongly believe that pedigree can be used as a great tool and particularly I think classification is a fantastic way to improve traits and the quality of your herd. Also, by breeding better quality pedigree animals, hopefully they will benefit in the sale ring, particularly if classification and cow families are used to an advantage.

We very much now live in a more commercial world with the current difficulties faced in our milk industry and I know often the value of pedigree is questioned by commercial farmers but also farmers who have always registered pedigree with the cost of it. I think it is important if used for the advantages and reasons mentioned above. There is no doubt that some pedigree animals we see make no more than non-pedigree animals and this is purely down to quality. So I think my opinion is that pedigree does have value but it has to be good quality and have depth of breeding to see a real premium.