SKIPTON Auction Mart’s latest fortnightly Wednesday store cattle sale again attracted a solid entry of 817 head, comprising 219 young bulls, 531 bullocks and heifers, 61 beef feeding cows, plus a handful of breeding cattle.

Bulls aged under 12 months and weighing in at 400kg-plus achieved £1,050 to £1,160 and lighter weight entries around £900. Hard late June suckler-bred bull stirks averaged £675, with strong Simmental-cross-Holstein bulls selling to £755.

There were 140 heifers aged 6-12 months averaged £731 and topping at £1,100 for a Limousin-cross heifer from John Bosworth, of Stackstead.

Bullocks of the same age bracket realised an average of £83. Seth Blakey, of Bolton-by-Bowland, achieved £1,080 with a Charolais.

Pick of the day’s trade, however, went to the Preston-based Wilkinson Family, who topped the sale with a run of British Blue-cross heifers peaking at £1,420 and £1,400.

Heifers aged 19-27 months averaged £964.22, while bullocks in the same age bracket produced a similar respectable average of £981 for 18- 27 month entries, topping at £1,250 for a Blonde from Ned Simpson, of Pateley Bridge.

Another strong turnout of 138 native cattle also met a healthy trade, with sire-Identified cattle commanding premium prices. Chris Wellock, of Halton East, topped the sale with an Aberdeen-Angus bullock at £1,200, while the Mellin family in Bracewell broke £1,100 with an Angus heifer.

Beef-bred feeding cows attracted a larger contingent of 14 buyers, creating a fast-selling trade. The best young feeding cows and pure-bred types made from £1,050 to a top of £1,220, medium type cows £850 to £1,000, with leaner, but straight cows to graze selling away in the mid-£600s to late £700s. The overall selling average was £811 per head. The mart reports that more feeding cows are needed to satisfy current storing demand.

The six breeding cattle penned for sale by Ashfield Farms in Lothersdale produced a top price of £1,750 for a Limousin-cross heifer with Limousin-cross bull calf.

The Critchley beef farming family, from Hutton, Preston, grabbed yet another top per kilo price of 253.5p/kg, or £1,331, for a 525kg Limousin-cross heifer at Skipton’s latest Monday prime cattle sale, claimed by regular buyer Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop & Restaurant in Lancaster, who took home three cattle in total.

A bid of 248.5p/kg, or £1,367, secured the leading price per kilo steer, a 580kg British Blue-cross from Threshfield brothers Charles and Richard Kitching, which became one of five acquisitions by Keelham for its Skipton and Thornton shops.

A further Keelham buy at joint top gross price of £1,411, or 247.5p/kg, was a Blue-cross heifer from Edward and John Parkinson, of Dunsop Bridge, matched by another Blue-cross heifer from John Fawcett, of Barden, sold to Halifax meat wholesalers J&E Medcalf.

The 21 under 30-month retail cattle were very good to place, though commercial types proved harder to sell.

Cast cattle numbers remained tight at 18 head and with the usual ten buyers ringside trade was on a par with the previous week, dairies with meat selling at 110p/kg and upwards. Of the beef-bred entries, a run of Belted Galloways from Gary Schofield, of Buckden, sold to 119.5p/kg. The overall cull cow selling average was 101.53p/kg, or £638.44.

A single mature Limousin bull from DB Greenwood, of Threshfield, made £1,154, or 111.5p/kg.

Another solid turnout of 3,419 sheep at Skipton Auction Mart’s weekly Monday sale saw the 2,725 prime hoggs among them rise in price by 6p/kg on the week to achieve an overall selling average of 196.4p/kg (SQQ average 207.5p/kg), or £87.82 per head.

Really smart lambs met the sharpest trade for several weeks, five pens topping £3 per kilo and another six selling at 280-300p/kg.

Some great Beltex runs were in the market, Henry Atkinson, of Kettlesing, heading the per kilo prices at 323p, or £123, with a single Beltex sold to Vivers Scotlamb in Annan, while two pens from Rob Bailes, of Aldborough, both achieved the day’s leading gross price of £129 when claimed by Worsley Wholesale Butchers, Dewsbury. One pen made 322.5p.

Handyweights were good to sell, while heavies maintained recent good trade, the best end hitting £115, or around 185-190p/kg, and commercial sorts 170-185p/kg. A total of 1,173 lambs of all breeds scaled 46kg or more and levelled at 182p/kg, bringing good returns for heavy lambs. Hill lambs also saw some good prices, with the better end of the Mules still making 180-188p/kg.

Of the 221 cast sheep penned for sale, cull ewes met a better trade, with prices looking sharper week by week. The section achieved an overall selling average of £59.16 and a top of £100 per head for a Texel pen from Julie Watson, of Gargrave. Cast rams averaged £71.96.

Also among the mix were 473 breeding and store sheep, comprising 55 ewes with 91 lambs at foot and 327 store lambs.

The former were a sharp trade, with good outfits of Texel ewes, regardless of age, making £210-£230 for those with twins and £150-£180 for singles. Sheep and lambs averaged £193 per family, or £72.84 per life. The mart says more outfits are required each week, with a good ringside of buyers looking for sheep.

A mixed bag of store lambs saw better Continental-crosses sell from £70-£75, medium to longer keep lambs making £65-£70 and better pens of Mules £66 -£69.