IN the prime cattle arena at Skipton Auction Mart, on Monday, 22 under 30-month entries from regular vendors were again in ready demand for the regional retail sector, with many of the usual butcher buyers from both sides of the border again present at the ringside.

Skipton-based Stanforths Butchers made three acquisitions, among them the leading gross priced 595kg British Blue-cross steer from the Kitching family in Threshfield at £1,431, or 240.5p/kg. Top price per kilo was a 525kg Limousin-cross heifer from the Critchley family in Hutton, Preston, which fell for 270.5p/kg, or £1,420, to George Cropper Jnr for his Sandersons Butchers in Baxenden.

Leading purchasers with five successful bids each were Keelham Farm Shop, of Skipton and Thornton, and Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop in Lancaster Leisure Park. Highlight of Keelham’s shopping list was the top grossing heifer, a 575kg Limousin-cross again from the Crtichleys, which made £1,423, or 247.5p/kg, while Countrystyle’s buys included the leading priced per kilo Limousin-cross steer at 259.5p/kg, and the second top price per heifer, another Limousin-cross weighing 545kg at 257.5p/kg.

Both were again consigned by the prolific Critchleys. Ellisons Butchers in Cullingworth also took home three. Cull cow supply continued to be tight, again resulting in exceptional trade for the 29 on offer, which sold to an overall average of £825.15 per head, or 134.66p/kg. Both meated and young dairy-bred cattle sold around the 140p/kg mark, with section highs of £1,054 and 144.5p/kg for respective black and whites from N and J Thwaite, of Hellifield, and Bingley father and son, Keith and David Downs. Beef-crosses were headed up by young cows at 190.5p/kg, or £857, for a British Blue from Bernard Simpson, of Pateley Bridge, and an Angus-cross from Thorlby’s John and Alison Spensley at 168.5p/kg, or £1,230.

Three mature bulls were also offered for sale, averaging £1,295 per head, or 150p/kg, with Bernard Simpson again to the fore when presenting the top price entry, a seven-year-old British Blue knocked down for £1,602, or 163.5p/kg. The same day’s weekly rearing calf sale saw a lot of younger calves among the 44-strong turnout, with heady prices achieved for some two to four-week-old entries.

The best Continentals again came from Fred Houseman, of Church Farm Enterprises in Burton Leonard, with his British Blue-cross bull calves trading to a sale high of £445 and all Blue bulls averaging £383 per head. Mr Houseman was also responsible for the top price £355 Blue-cross heifer calf. GCL Stephenson, of Kirkby Lonsdale, headed the Limousin prices, with a bull calf at £325 and a heifer calf at £300, with all Continental-cross entries selling to an overall average of £356.60 per head. Native calves sold to £255 for bulls and £160 for heifers, both Aberdeen-Angus youngsters from the Heron family in Bramhope. The section average was £146 per head.