SKIPTON Auction Mart’s latest fortnightly Wednesday cattle sale attracted 550 head, all but five feeding cattle, these comprising 30 young bulls, 40 beef feeding cows and 475 bullocks and heifers.

Feeding bulls, a mixed turnout on age, saw those under 12 months bulls in demand if strong and well-drawn, with most making £1,100 or more. Buyers were more selective on bulls over 12 months, which was as anticipated in line with prime values.

Of the feeding cows, a pure British Blue topped at £1,680, with other heavy meated cows all selling at £1,000-£1,230. .

A large turnout of all classes of store cattle saw most trade similarly on the fortnight. Small long-term cattle looked well sold, especially with the current straw prices, with active buyers eager to buy smart goods to resell as large cattle next year or keep all the way through.

Native cattle, with both beef and dairies in shorter supply, nevertheless saw buyers competing well for both bullocks and heifers of all sizes and ages. Strong Angus bullocks sold to £1,290, good framed Angus steers at £1,040-£1,100 and Angus heifers, which were keenly sought, to £1,050.

Continental cattle also sold well, with a few new faces for some 12-16 month old heifers. A total of 48 British Blue bullocks sold to an average of £1,029, with a top of £1,225, while 35 Blue heifers sold to a joint top of £1,170.

Limousin heifers made to £1,320, other best goods making £1,180-£1,300, while 72 Limousin steers again sold to regular purchasers with trade all round similar. Best end cattle and short-term goods all made £1,100-plus to a top of £1,360.

Beef-bred feeding cows averaged £787, topping at £1,680 for a British Blue, while a handful of breeding cattle sold to 2,000gns for a pedigree Limousin bull.

The final Tuesday breeding sheep sale of the 2020 season attracted a turnout of 221 head, the majority rams, with a notably good enquiry for Texel shearling rams showing both size and power, with a top call of £650 for one from Stephen Breare, of Silsden Moor, who sold seven in total to average £497. (Oct 27)

EB Webster, of Cracoe, sold a 3 shear at £550, with other decent sorts trading at £350-£450. A few Blue Faced Leicesters forward saw the best make around £400.

The ram trade of the day was reserved for the Cheviots, which saw a total clearance, thought to be a sign of their increasing popularity in this region, which has certainly been evident at midweek store lamb sales at Skipton. Top price of £500 fell to an entry from the Westalls, of Briercliffe, with most of the Cheviot shearling rams selling at £300-£350 and aged rams £200-£250.

While a small selection of mainly older broken mouth or correct ewes was reflected in selling prices, one pen of nice Texel-cross shearlings from Howard Metcalfe, of Silsden, topped the female section when making £195 per head.

The mart points out that breeding sheep, rams and gimmer lambs will continue to be sold for the remainder of this season on store lamb Wednesdays, with store sheep going under the hammer in the main ring, and ewes, rams and gimmer lambs in the Lingfields Ring at lunchtime.