WHILE trade for the 52-strong rearing calf entry at Skipton Auction Mart’s weekly rearing calf sale was not quite as electric as the previous week, top price of the year to date, however, was seen for the best Friesian bull on sale.

It came from Sutton-in-Craven’s Richard Spence and made a heady £310, helping the day’s overall black and white average to hit £102.50 per head.

Continentals and native entries saw the best of the action. British Blue bulls experienced an elevated trade, with an average of £421 per head achieved for a good quality turnout, with the Housemans, of Church Farm Enterprises in Burton Leonard, Lothersdale’s Geoff and Margaret Booth, the Wrights, of Airton, and S Parker, of Bentham, all selling bulls well above £400.

The Housemans had the joint top price Blue-cross bull calf at £480, equalled by a Simmental bull calf from Hayton and Stocks in Bolton Abbey, with the former again to the fore with the top price £410 Blue-cross heifer calf and the latter pairing also chipping in with a £460 Simmental-cross heifer calf.

Blonde youngsters also traded beyond expectations when averaging £363 for good quality items. Continental entries levelled at over £390 per head overall.

Natives caught the eye too, with bull calves averaging £308 per head and topping at £345 for an Aberdeen Angus again from Richard Spence, with the Whittakers, of Bolton Abbey, heading the heifer prices with another Angus at £270. The overall Angus heifer average was £230 per head.

Church Farm Enterprises also topped the Blue heifer prices at £410, helping the average to £345 with some suckler buyers forcing the trade.

Meanwhile a good show of rearing calves is expected at Skipton this Monday, among them 20 genuine top end Friesians.

* The 53 head of prime cattle forward for Skipton Auction Mart’s weekly Monday sale included 16 under 30-month entries that sold to a top price of £1,359, or 266.5p/kg, for a Limousin-cross steer from P Summers Agriculture in Clayton, Bradford. This sold to Edwards Farm Butchers in Padiham Road, Burnley.

Heifers peaked at £1,204 and 247.5p/kg for two Limousin-cross entries from DA Wilcock and Son, of Wigan, with both falling to Keelham Farm Shop for its Skipton and Thornton stores.

The 34 cull cows entered traded to a similar by-weight price on the week of 103.64p/kg, though the overall average gross price showed a marked improvement when hitting close to £703 per head, compared to £659 the previous week.

Geoff and Margaret Lawn, of Skipton, led the way with a £1,060 Aberdeen Angus-cross, closely followed by the top-priced Continental, a £1,055 British Blue-cross from Derek Wells, of Wilsden. The by-weight high of 136.5p/kg fell to a Gelbvieh from Stainforth’s Richard Caton.