REARING calves did better than ever at Skipton Auction Mart’s Easter Monday sale, with a full ringside of buyers from across the North competing for the 46 on offer.

A cracking top call of £510, the highest price for some time, was made for a five-week-old British Blue-x heifer from Alan Middleton, of the Beamsley-based Hartley dairy farming partnership. By their stock bull Greystone Money it fell to South Yorkshire’s Brian and Lucy Kaye.

Blue bulls averaged £400, the Hartleys topping again at £455, with P&RM Sutcliffe, of Queensbury, close behind at £450 and Andrew Ayrton, from Eastby, selling another at £430. The next grade averaged £370-£400, with some small calves at £250+.

Best Blue heifers with frame and style made £365-£400, mediums selling for £330-£365 and those on the smaller side, including some cross breeds, averaged £210-£280, with good coloured smalls £280-£310.

Limousin heifer calves sold from £280, with C&A Morton, of Laytham in East Yorkshire, reaching the top price of £318 and four-week-old Charolais heifers from the Sowray brothers in Bishop Thornton selling at £370 and £355.

Of the natives, the best four-week-old Aberdeen-Angus bull calves made from £300 to £335 top twice from both CW Hardy in Thornton and Cononley’s James Gooch, slightly smaller goods going for £275+.

Black and white bulls sold to a range of buyers, with all prices said to be very desirable. Dairy trade topped at £215 for a young bull calf again from the Sowrays. Flekveih bulls sold to average £252.

Easter Monday’s sale of 13 prime cattle brought another clean sweep among the handful of under 30-month entries for the Kitching brothers, of Threshfield, with Robertshaws Farm Shop in Thornton accounting for their top priced heifer by weight at 269.5p/kg, a 595kg Limousin heifer.

Trade picked up on the previous week and saw a near clean sweep of purchases for Bradford wholesalers Ralph Pearson, gathering the top gross priced animal - a Bazadais-cross steer weighing 625kg at £1,666 and the leading price by weight at 270.5p/kg (£1,609), both from the Kitching pen. Steers averaged 268p/kg and heifers 250.13p/kg, including a 685kg heifer at 215p/kg.

Cull cows were all black and white dairies. At the better end cattle with finish were 140p/kg and the lean end 108p/kg, producing an overall selling average of 128.81p/kg, or £860.43 per head. Supply of cast cows is tight and the outlook looks good.

The mart reports that Episode 4 of The Farming Country Podcast is now live via the home page link at