An in-calf Belgian Blue heifer took the top price of £10,000 at the Jalex on-farm sale on Saturday, April 30.

Suckler farmers from across Ireland and the UK gathered at James Alexander's farm outside Randalstown, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland for the Jalex Select heifer sale.

The on-farm sale of over 200 in-calf suckler-bred heifers saw virtually a full clearance, with the livestock on offer finding new homes in suckler herds across the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and mainland UK.

Top prices from the sale:

The sale was undoubtedly one of the largest on-farm sales of suckler-bred heifers on the island of Ireland in recent times and drew huge interest.

The top price on the day went to Lot 10, a black Belgian Blue heifer. The heifer was described in the sale catalogue as "an outstanding beast" that was "arguably" one of the best heifers on offer on the day.

The heifer was sired by Sheehills Fearless (by Empire) and a Limousin cow by Wilodge Topgun. This heifer was described as "a show calf breeder or potentially, a flushing cow".

In general at the sale, heifers were trading from £1,700 to £2,200.

Speaking to Agriland after the sale, James Alexander of Jalex Livestock said: "The top-end heifers were a much improved trade on last year, the mid-type heifers were about the same as last year and the plainer-type heifers were maybe back a small bit despite beef being higher."

He explained that the online bidding option has been "a huge success" with a total of 45% of the heifers on offer being purchased by online bidders.

54% of the heifers in the sale were sold to export with 31% going to the Republic of Ireland and 23% going to Britain.

The sale average was £2,504 while the two stockbulls on offer at the sale sold for an average of £3,500.

James added: "Suckler farmers are looking to keep higher quality suckler cows and the trends from the sale have reflected that".

Jalex is set to host a sale of over 1,000 breeding sheep at the end of July and an online sale of breeding heifers in August. A sale of tup ewes will take place on August 19, and the farm will host another heifer sale in late October.