Skipton prime time champions fall to local farm shop
Todmorden and Trawden exhibitors were responsible for the title winners at Skipton Auction Mart’s August prime shows and sales. (Mon, Aug 6)
Father and son Frank and Robert Fielden, of Speke Edge Farm, Todmorden, presented for the prime lamb champions, while Trawden’s Jimmy Baines sent out his umpteenth prime cattle victor.
The pen of five 44kg three-quarters Texel lamb victors, also first prize winners in a standalone show class sponsored by Northern Area Texel Sheepbreeders, were among the first draw of a large seasonal consignment of lambs from the Fieldens.
They headed the prices by a considerable margin when falling at £135 per head, or 306.8p/kg, to James Robertshaw, of Keelham Farm Shop, Thornton, Bradford, the third month in succession the business has bought the Skipton prime lamb champions.
Keelham Farm Shop also acquired its second consecutive monthly prime beef champion when paying £1,397, or 249.5p/kg, again top price of the day, for Mr Baines’ home-bred 560kg British Blue-cross heifer.
Among five prime beef purchases, Keelham also paid £1,320, or 229.5p/kg, for the 575kg reserve champion, another British Blue-cross heifer from Bernard Simpson, of Heathfield, Pateley Bridge, and £1,252, or 223.5p/kg, for the first prize British Blue-cross steer from Brian Lund, of Walshaw, Hebden Bridge.
The prime cattle show was sponsored by Philip Boland Driver Training and judged by James Dewhirst of Skipton-based Stanforths Butchers, while the Guy Machinery-sponsored prime lamb show was judged by Jim Holden, livestock buyer for Woodheads Bros Meat Company, Colne - his chosen first prize winners all headed the prices in their respective classes.
The title-winning Fieldens also presented the second prize pen of five 42kg Beltex-cross Continentals, sold at £103 per head to Vivers Scotlamb, of Annan, who added the second prize pen of 37kg Texels from Richard and Mark Ireland, of Whalley, at £93 each, and the third prize 35kg Continental-cross pen from Jonathan Shorrock, of Cliviger, Burnley, at £74 a head.
The best of the Continentals was another quality pen of 40kg Beltex-cross lambs from Skipton regular Robert Towers, of Farleton, Lancaster, sold for £104 per head, or 260p/kg, to Yorkshire Halal Meats for its Keighley supermarket, which also acquired the third prize 43kg Texel pen from Ellis Bros, of Addingham Moorside, at £96 each, and the third prize 48kg Mule lambs from Calton’s Robert Crisp at £79 per head.
Mr Crisp was also responsible for the red rosette-winning 45kg Mule pen, which joined Hellifield’s Paul Watson, buying on behalf of Dunbia Foods, Preston, at £80.50 per head, supplemented by the second prize pen of 43kg Mules from Ellis Bros at £76.20 each.
The best of the Suffolks, a 45kg pen from JP & KE Hartley, of Bolton Abbey, joined show judge Mr Holden for Woodhead Bros Butchers at £88 each. Robert Towers also headed the Charollais lamb prices at £95 per head, or 230p/kg.
The total turnout of almost 4,000 prime lambs sold to an overall average of £76.09 per head, virtually unchanged on the week, or 187.72p/kg, slightly down on the previous week’s 191.3p/kg.
Craven Cattle Marts’ Ted Ogden noted: “This was far better than anticipated, given the trade late last week. Smart lambs were again in strong demand, with 54 pens selling for over 200p/kg and 62 pens selling for between £85 and £105.
“Smarter Suffolk and Continental lambs weighing 37-41kg regularly sold for 188-195p/kg, while commercial lambs were 182-187p/kg. Only very heavy lambs and hill-bred lambs were under 180p/kg, and these were mostly Mule wethers, which averaged 176p/kg.”
Trade for cull ewes was easier on the week, averaging £49.28 per head, with a high of £100 each for a pen of Texels from Martin Jennings, of Cowling. Improved trade for cast rams saw an average of £72.30 per head and a high of £94.50 for a Blue Faced Leicester from Embsay’s John and Claire Mason.
Back with the prime cattle, a show for cast cows saw Roland Carr, of Bolton Abbey, land first prize in the beef class with a Limousin-cross sold at £1,033, or 147.5p/kg, while the best of the dairy entries, a black and white also from Martin Jennings, made £1,052, or 131.5p/kg. Cull cows sold to an overall average of £776.03 per head, or 120.91p/kg, slightly down on the week, peaking at £1,126, or 157.5p/kg, for a British Blue-cross from JW Stockdale & Sons, of Burnsall, run by father John and sons Jim and Richard.
The same vendors were also responsible for the £462 top price Limousin-cross bull calf in the weekly sale of 75 rearing calves, which sold to an overall average of £182.76 per head, compared to £147 the previous week.
Ken Wright, of Airton, achieved £405 for the top price British Blue-cross bull calf, while the best of the heifer calves at £358 was a Limousin-cross from Graham Hayton and Elizabeth Stocks, of Bolton Abbey.
The top price calf, together with the best performing black and white £260 bull calf from JP & KE Hartley, of Bolton Abbey, both qualify for the Rumenco Calf of the Month Competition, first introduced last month for Continental and black and white or native-sired youngsters. The inaugural winners were the Hartleys with a £290 Aberdeen Angus bull calf and HJ & K Blackwell, of Gargrave, with a £395 British Blue-x bull calf.
In the weekly produce sale, barley straw heston bales sold to £92 per tonne and new season hay large square bales to £75 per bale.
Over 300 head of summer cattle turned out for the fortnightly sale of young feeding bulls, store bullocks and heifers, and breeding cattle. (Wed, Aug 1)
Bulls met with sharp trade, premium sorts topping at £1,460 for an entry from Jimmy Baines, of Trawden, with two others selling at over £1,400 and plenty at £1,000 or more, producing a Continental-x average of £901 and a native average of £652.
Best quality bullocks and heifers sold from £1,000 to £1,325 for a Limousin Heifer from TW Bradley, of Queensbury. Store bullocks sold to an average of £983 for Continental-x and a native average of £805, with store heifers averaging £804 and £702 respectively. Breeding cattle sold to a high of £1,510 for a Simmental cow with Stabiliser bull calf.
Ted Ogden noted: “Even with over 300 head forward, cattle numbers are short of buyers’ requirements and vendors should turn their thoughts to selling cattle before any early Autumn rush caused by the inclement weather.”
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