OVER 600 head of cattle, all but ten feeders, passed through the sales rings at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest fortnightly Wednesday midweek sale (March 31)

The 35 beef feeding cows and bulls produced the best trade of the year to date for the former, with a section average of £1,076 and strong competition for all types of cow, plenty making £1,300-£1,590. Cast bulls fit for further use saw a two-year-old Limousin from D Garstang, of Kelbrook, make £2,200 and a five-year-old Aberdeen- Angus £1,700.

A solid turnout of 454 store bullocks and heifers for the traditional Spring sale included a wide age profile, from younger and grazing cattle through to older cattle for short-term keep.

Some excellent runs of Spring 2020-born cattle under 12 months saw the North Lincolnshire-based King family again head north with a tremendous run of 9-12 month-olds that peaked at £1,360 for a Limousin bullock, most ranging from £1,150 to £1,300. With a very strong enquiry for cattle suitable to graze the remainder of the younger bullocks were mainly four figures for Continentals, with 79 under a year old averaging £1,036.

The Kings followed suit with their heifers, leading the age range at £1,380 with an 11-month-old Limousin and 16 others of similar quality making £1,100-£1,300. Hebden’s Dave White, well known for nice butchers’ types, took £1,140 for a young Limousin, with 81 heifers under 12 months averaging £923.

The 12-18 month age range again included a larger amount of beef/dairy crosses and these types of both British Blue and Limousin-x found an exceedingly good enquiry from customers seeking genuine grazing cattle.

Many bullocks stretched nicely into four figures at £1,050/£1,100, a few nearer 18 months making a shade over, with Silsden Moor’s Ken and Lynne Throup claiming £1,300 with an Angus. Best suckler-bred sorts stepped up another gear, the Kings again catching the eye at £1,360 with bullocks just over a year old. Heifers in this range averaged £1,043, topping at £1,400 for a 17-month-old Limousin from Rick Bamforth in Denby Dale.

Of the over 18 month entries Andrew Houseman, of Darley, headed the section at £1,410 with some nice Limousin bullocks rising two-years-old, many other vendors achieving £1,350 and upwards. A total of 95 bullocks of all breeds in the age range averaged £1,208, while 85 heifers averaged £1,114, Mr Houseman again leading the way with Limousin at £1,490 and £1,460.

Trade was described as ‘fiery’ for native and dairy-bred entries, one of the most notable a pen of 14 Saler bullocks sold in one hit and each making £1,310. Both Angus and Shorthorn bullocks topped at £1,300, while feeding Angus heifers with leg commanded £1,060-£1,135.

Black and white bullocks met serious demand with increased interest on the fortnight, trade topping at £1,180 for a single entry from the Rennard family in Beamsley.

A smaller turnout of 106 young feeding bulls partly down to lambing and reducing beef herds saw buyers keen to fill pens with Spring-born cattle. Bulls under 12 months averaged £1,109 and those over 12 months £1,175. Heavy bulls were £1,400 and medium-keep bulls regularly £1,250-£1,300.

The ten breeding cattle all made four figures, selling to highs of £1,900 for Blue-x cows with Limousin-x heifer calves and £1.700 for Limousin-x cows with same way bred heifer calves. In-calf Blue-x cows sold to £1,440, Limousin-x cows in calf to £1,380.