COMPRISING of breeding cattle, young feeding bulls and store bullocks and heifer, Wednesday’s fortnightly sale saw a strong 469 head of cattle through the ring at Craven Cattle Mart, Skipton.

A respectable show of vendors turned up on an icy morning and all classes demonstrated a sharper trade, as cow prices in the live marketplace are firming.

The excellent run of feeding bulls included the annual consignment of spring-born bulls from TH and K Wood, featuring Limousin-X goods bred from strong Continental cows, with only 10 bulls out of the 45 in the run making below £1,400, the strong run topped at £1,700 for an April-born bull.

Aside from the main consignment, buyers were afforded a good choice with JC Walker and Son selling a March-born Limousin-X at £1,860, and from the same parish, Saddle End Farms, a January-born Limousin sold at £1,870.

A reflection of the quality available in the 2023 born bulls was a section average of £1,411, for goods under 10 months. Those aged 10 -12 months saw Limousins at £1,800 twice from EBA&SW Mills and a pure-bred bull from JR&CJ Greenwood at £1790. A mixed entry of bulls over 12 months old saw the suckler-bred entry average £1,490, and a run of 11-month-old dairy-bred British Blues averaged £1,180.

A small selection of Limousins and British Beef Shorthorns were brought forward for the Feeding Bulls sale, averaging £2,543 and topping at £3,550 for a strong Limousin Bull from AJ Atkins — the day’s principal price. Feeding Cows averaged £1,142. Chief prices saw Ash Mills of Sheffield sell to £1,700 and £1580 and Peter Holt of Rossendale sell to £1590, whilst Geoff Booth of Lothersdale and DW Barker of Otley sold at £1,580.

Store cattle value looks to be increasing, with all classes seeing higher prices sale by sale. Thick, short-keep bullocks and heifers of all sizes and breeds were taking the lead on Wednesday.

L Bretton of Brighouse and M Ryder and Sons, Harrogate topped the prices for Blue bullocks, selling at £1,850 and £1,840, respectively. Some cracking Limousin-X bullocks at 14/15 months old from JR&DL Ogden of Austwick sold at £1800 and some 18/20-month-old cattle from L Bretton, Brighouse at the same price.

Well-fleshed suckler heifers for the retail market sold at £1,600-£1,700, whilst the next grade retail spec heifers with frame sold at £1,450-£1,550 and the leaner goods at £1,300-£1,400. Yearling heifers got away at £1000-£1,200, with a few of the best goods exceeding £1,200, topping at £1,220 from Saddle End Farms.

Dairy-feeding bullocks sold to a solid audience, with the strongest goods, with power and flesh, selling at £1600-£1700. Best bred continental dairy bullocks £1750-£1760. Thick bullocks regularly sold at £1500-£1650. Dairy feeding heifers sold to £1550 for Lim heifers from M Ryder & Sons of Harrogate, whilst blue heifers sold to £1590 from KM&L Throup, Silsden Moor. Black & White bullocks sold to £1530 from GT Blezard, Conder Green and Native bullocks sold to £1700 for Angus’s from B Keegan of Queensbury.

James Robertshaw of Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton purchased the leading priced/kg steers at 340.5p/kg and 334.5p/kg, both from Francis and Andrew Smith of Masongill. The top gross in prime cattle was £2413 for a Limousin cross from the pen of Hargreaves Farms, which joined Knavesmire Butchers at 326.5p/kg.

Fortnightly Sale of Young Feeding Bulls, Store Bullocks & Heifers, Breeding Cattle – Wednesday January 31.