SOLID prime sheep and cattle numbers were again seen at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest weekly Monday sale.

Noteworthy in the prime sheep arena was a price of £135, or 293p/kg, for a single Texel lamb generously donated by John Thwaite, of Horton in Craven, in aid of the Luke Mortimer Fund and purchased equally generously by regular buyer, The Hartshead Meat Co in Mossley, Greater Manchester.

The 2,743-strong entry comprised 2,413 prime hoggs, less of the smart end than usual and more Mule, Masham and hill-bred types among the mix. However, the overall selling average for all consigned on the day of £94.67 per head, or 219.2p/kg, was deemed a great result.

North Craven’s Mike Davis, who runs the Rathbone flock in Eldroth, took top price per kilo at 295p/kg, or £124 per head, for 42kg Beltex claimed by weekly buyer Vivers Scotlamb in Annan.

Hartshead Meats was again in action when paying 290p/kg, or £119, for 41kg lambs from Kirkby Malham’s Jeff Burrow, while Kevin Marshall, from Dacre, was also in the money at exactly the same prices with another 41kg pen again falling to Vivers

Steeton’s Mark Evans headed the Suffolk gross prices and the day’s per head prices with a £139 pen knocked down to Joe Bosworth, purchasing on behalf of A&D Meats in Rossendale, who also went to £127 for a Beltex pen from DA Wilcock & Sons, of Wigan, with another at the same price to Hartshead Meats. Ellis Bros, of Addingham, Moorside, sold lambs to £127, Trawden’s Jim Baines to £125.

Commercial handyweight lowland lambs were around 5p/kg dearer on the week, with straight 41/43kg lambs making £95-£100. Heavies were short of requirements, the 46kg to 52kg weight bracket averaging 217p/kg, with these weights being £4-£5 each dearer on the week.

North of England Mule and Masham lambs were a great trade, the latter selling to 216.3p/kg, or £100, from Lincolnshire’s Steve Dorey and averaging 214p/kg overall, the former averaging 208p/kg, topping at 217p from the Kitching family in Threshfield.

Also sold were 330 cast sheep, with cull ewes once again meeting a straight trade when achieving a solid average of £85.54 per head, the stronger end making from £120 to £130.50 top from F Reeday & Son in Cracoe. Mules sold to £97.50 at an average of £88 per head, with the best hill sheep trading to £82.50 and Swaledales to £77.50. Cast rams averaged £66.20.

A consignment of 12 cast milk goats from P Ormerod, of West Marton, all sold successfully to £84.50 at an average of £70.

Parkinson brothers again head prime cattle trade

The 47 prime cattle on offer comprised 28 under 30-month entries, with Dunsop Bridge brothers Edward and John Parkinson continuing where they left off the previous week when once again consigning the top price entry, a 600kg British Blue-cross heifer sold to Jeff Burrow, of Kirkby Malham, for £1,521, or 253.5p/kg.

JW Stockdale & Sons, of Burnsall, produced the second highest gross price with a home-bred 590kg Limousin-cross heifer selling to Keelham Farm Shop in Skipton for £1,466, or 248.5p/kg.

The leading gross price steer, another Blue-cross weighing in at 600kg from Threshfield brothers Charles and Richard Kitching, made £1,371, or 228.5p/kg, when becoming one of two purchases by Simon Barker, of Barkers Yorkshire Butchers, based at the mart

The Critchley family, from Hutton, Preston, chipped in with a 565kg Limousin-cross steer grossing at £1,364, or 241.5p/kg section top, when claimed by Countrystyle Meats Farm Shop & Restaurant in Lancaster.

James Robertshaw was yet again the leading buyer with an eight-strong haul – four each for both Keelham and his own Robertshaws Farm Shop in Thornton, while Countrystyle’s Alan Beecroft also took home four cattle.

A pen of Stabaliser steers in the TB Exempt section averaged £952 for WPP Farming, of Hunton, south of Catterick.

The 17 cull cows penned for sale again saw more cattle forward with finish, producing a sharper trade for dairies, the best end comfortably making 110p/kg-plus. They sold to an overall average of £665.83 per head, or 101.52p/kg, with a trio of black and whites from Broughton’s Jeremy Taylor selling to highs of £968 and 114.5p/kg. Beef bred entries sold to 125.5p/kg for a British Blue from Addingham’s Nigel Garth.