Archive for April, 2012

 Farming runs in the blood for Skipton Auction Mart’s newly appointed trainee auctioneer, Sam Bradley. The 23-year-old, who has now moved to Hellifield was born and raised on the family farm in Hamsterley, Bishop Auckland, run by his parents Mark and Jane Bradley.

They breed pedigree Welsh pigs and have 92 sows at present, along with 50 pedigree Aberdeen-Angus cattle and 100 commercial ewes. The family also has strong connections with West Yorkshire, as Sam’s grandparents Bob and Mary Bradley farmed at Ogden, near Keighley .

 With his sights firmly set from an early age on a livelihood in agriculture, Sam attended Harper Adams University College, near Newport in Shropshire. He left with a BSc Honours degree in Rural Enterprise and Land Management, in the interim spending a year’s work placement at Colchester Livestock Market, run by Stanfords Estate Agents, selling poultry, reclaimed goods and furniture.

Sam then broadened his horizons when spending five months in New Zealand working on a beef and sheep-finishing farm near Wellington, before joining Craven Cattle Marts, where he is currently learning the ropes and looking forward to selling livestock himself, initially in the dairy cattle and calf sale rings.

Sam becomes one of three-full time auctioneers at Skipton, joining general manager Jeremy Eaton and farmstock sales manager Ted Odgen. Sam can be contacted through the mart office on 01756 792375, mobile 07538 539077, or email sam@ccmauctions.com


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This week has seen a big drop in prime sheep prices as the hogget and lamb trade has again reacted to exchange rates and highlighted our reliance on the export trade which currently accounts for some 37 per cent of volume.

Latest AHDB figures show new season lambs back by some 26p/kg liveweight and hoggs down almost 15p/kg. However, by comparison with 2010 and earlier years, the average prices of 224.43p/kg and 197.53p/kg look pretty healthy. New season lamb numbers have increased by 32 per cent this week and hogg numbers reduced by 32 per cent.

Most commentators agree the price dip has been largely down to the strengthening of sterling (until Wednesday) against the euro and the ‘affordability’ on continental markets of UK lamb. While the mid-week announcement that we might be seeing a double-dip recession did halt the pound’s upwards climb, economists at AHDB said continuing problems in the euro-zone (notably Spain and Italy) were hitting the value of the euro and therefore effectively cancelling it out.

Prime cattle prices also dropped back a little this week across all sectors with the biggest fall in the heifer price – back 2.4p/kg lw to 190.88p/kg lw. Overall cattle average 187.96/p/kg lw.

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On Tuesday, Harrison and Hetherington held their annual Fair day show and sale of store cattle at Lockerbie auction mart where an entry of 1192 cattle met a huge ring side of buyers and all classes sold well despite the lack of grass.

The judge, Harry Emslie of Kinknock, Peterhead, awarded the championship to a 10-month-old Limousin bullock which sold at £1,080. Reserve champion came from P Inman, Kilnknowe with a nine- month- old Limousin cross bullock, which sold at £990.

Top price went to P Ewart, Belridding with a Limousin bullock which sold at £1,380.  Steers sold to 2.68.70p/kg, firstly for a nine- month- old Limousin from J. A .Vevers, Chapelhills and secondly for a nine-month-old Charolais from A .J. McGregor of Relief Farm.

 Heifers sold to £1,160 for Limousin heifers from W. Lockhart of Greenbeck and to 280.50p/kg for Limousin heifers from G. Bell of Haas Grove. The bullocks averaged 210.70p or £827.27 up £89.73 and the heifers averaged 205.8p or £722.52 up £37.

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Liskeard stores

Store trade peaked at £1,145 for a 23-month-old Montbeliarde cross steer from Messrs Doughty and Sons, St Wenn, who also sold Charolais heifers to £1,150 and Aberdeen-Angus steers to £1065.

Younger cattle sold well with a South Devon steer from R. Gabriel and Son, Launceston realising £1,022 at 14 months and many more of a similar age making between £920 – £950.

In the cull cow pens trade remained strong with the best Limousin cow from Messrs Smeeth and Son, Bodmin, selling at 138 p/kg. Holstein cows sold to a top of 129p/kg for A. Walter and Son, Landrake.

Auctioneers: Kivells

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THERE were just less than 2000 head forward at Gisburn Auction’s sale of ewes and lambs on Saturday making it one of the largest sales of the season in the north of England so far this year. 

Local pedigree breeder, Stuart Currie of Rathmell topped the trade with Beltex ewes and lambs at £350 and £320 and Texel ewes with twins at foot to £290. Mule ewes with twins sold to £202, shearlings with twins to £225 and Raymond Johnson of Felliscliffe sold his hoggs with singles between £200 – £225.

Richard Umpleby, Killinghall sold a batch of Suffolk cross hoggs in the £180 – £195 bracket. Simon Bennett, Silsden sold his annual consignment of well grown Texel hoggs with singles for £220, £220 and £198.

Auctioneers Richard Turner & Son

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A son of the 24,000gns sire, Lockerley Legolas G850, has become the most expensive Aberdeen-Angus bull to the sold in the UK this year and is believed to be the dearest Aberdeen-Angus ever sold in the UK under 12 months of age.

The young bull, Rawburn Black Hawk L261, has sold to the Yorkshire-based Linton Gilbertines herd of Gordon Brooke for £40,000 in a private sale, with a half share of the bull’s semen rights retained by his breeders. His sire, Legolas, was purchased in Perth, February 2009, for 24,000gns by the Rawburn and Idvies herds.


Black Hawk comes from two of the best performing lines in the breed, being a son of Legolas, a bull in the top 1 per cent of the breed for 400-day growth rate and the top 10 per cent for 200 and 600-day growth rates, and out of Rawburn Blackbird G729, a granddaughter of the noted sire Rawburn Transformer, which is in the top 10% for 200, 400 and 600-day growth rates.

Commenting on his purchase Mr Brooke said he had been keen to secure Black Hawk for his fast establishing herd as he offered an exceptional combination of top genetics and performance and is from easy calving lines which should transmit well to his progeny.

Breeder John Elliot jnr said he had been reluctant to sell Black Hawk so young, but having seen the quality of females Mr Brooke had founded his herd on he was excited to see what the young bull could achieve.

“The combination of this stylish young bull and exceptional, proven maternal lines at Linton Gilbertines should produce some very exciting prospects for the future of the breed. Cogent Breeding is currently collecting semen and we hope to have semen available for the UK and worldwide markets in the near future,” he added

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Pedigree bulls scaled to heights of 4,200gns, while heifers peaked at 2,550gns, at this week’s Holstein NI show and sale, hosted by Taaffe Auctions at the Pedigree Sales Arena, Moira.

Bulls met a selective trade with 10 lots selling to average £2,137 per head; while the female portion of the catalogue attracted a complete clearance with 24 heifers and cows averaging £1,966 each.

Sale leader at 4,200gns was the day’s male champion Relough Raydan, bred by Ronald McLean, and sons Malcolm and Barry, from Donaghmore, County Tyrone. This 14-month-old entry was sired by the O-Bee Manfred Justice son, Wa-Del Hayden, and is bred from the EX classified Relough Shottle Raven 4 who has averaged over 10,800kgs at 4.16 per cent butterfat and 3.15 per cent protein in three 305-day lactations. Backed by five generations of EX dams, it sold to John Caldwell from Beragh, County Tyrone.

Second highest price of the day 3,100gns was paid to Mark Truesdale, Newcastle, County Down, for the February 2011-born Castletru Rasputin. By Ked Outside Jeeves, he is backed by seven generations of VG and EX dams. Buyer was Sean O’Brien from Poyntzpass.

The McLean family – Ronald, Malcolm and Barry, also claimed the top price in the female section, when they realised 2,550gns for the third prize winning Relough Million Jessica. This potential eighth generation VG and EX heifer was born in November 2009 and is by the Comestar Outside son, England Ammon Million. Calved four weeks and producing 38 litres per day, she sold to William Herron, Newtownhamilton, County Armagh.

Next best at 2,450gns was Ballygrainey Airraid Dory, a second calver brought out by Holstein NI chairman, Jay Warden, from Bangor, County Down. Sired by Sildahl Airraid, she produced over 8,000kgs at 4.93 per cent butterfat and 3.23 per cent protein in her heifer lactation. Six weeks calved and yielding 50 litres per day, this one sold to Sam Gilmore from Tandragee, County Armagh.

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