FOUR-figure trade across all sections and classes was the order of the day at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest midweek Wednesday cattle sale. (July 20)

Of the 249 store bullocks and heifers, those with both weight and frame were again keenly contested, though less interest was seen for the younger end with more farmers out toiling in the fields and grass becoming scarce.

Top on price at £1,730 was a dairy-bred British Blue-cross bullock from father and son, Keith and David Downs, with strong Limousin bullocks from Fair Place Farm in Cowling selling to £1,655. Native cattle also sold well to a top of £1,440 for two big rangy Aberdeen-Angus bullocks from Threshfield’s Tom Harrison. The section Continental-cross average was £1,168, natives averaging £1,122.

Store heifers sold to £1,660 for a feeding Limousin from DT&LA Houseman, of Dacre, with Jack Berry on Silsden Moor selling another at £1,640, a Blue-cross from John Fawcett in Barden hitting £1,600. Continental-cross heifers averaged £1,127.

With prime bull returns remaining solid and buyers keen to keep pens topped up with strong 2021 Spring-born cattle as numbers reduce, trade remained firm for 42 young feeding bulls, which averaged £1,264.

The middle order of strong bulls was generally £1,300-£1,450, with several highlights for exceptional sorts, peaking at £1,650 for a Blonde from the Hubberholme-based Hucks, closely followed art £1,640 by Limousin-cross from G&H Sztejnke, of Clapham. At the smaller end, nothing sold under £900 up to £1,250 at the top end of this scale.

A section average of £1,150 for 32 beef feeding cows saw strong trade continuing as availability of beef-crosses to feed reduces as the year advances. Continental cows carrying meat sold from £1,300 up to £1,550 for a Limousin from M Ryder & Son in Haverah Park, Harrogate, while a heavy native Hereford from Heather Whitaker, of Norwood Green, Halifax, caught the eye at £1,890.

Also on offer were 24 breeding cattle, all again in ready demand and selling to a top of £1,900 for a Limousin cow with same way bred bull calf at foot from Frank and Colin Stubbs in Rathmell.