SOUTH-WESTERN farmers flocked to the region‘s first ever organic livestock auction last week (w/e Sept 24) when more than 200 organic cattle and nearly 290 sheep went under the hammer.

The sale at Liskeard market created such interest that farmers had to queue outside the cattle ring due to a lack of standing space.

“It was by far the biggest market held at Liskeard since before foot-and-mouth,” said Peter Bayliss of Organic Livestock Farmers of Cornwall & Devon, which organised the event with Organic South West and Kivells.

A Hereford steer took the day‘s top price of £660. Organic steers averaged £545, with heifers peaking at £510 and averaging £355. Store lambs sold to £45.20/head and averaged £41.20.

As well as the organic livestock 100 conventional cattle and 390 sheep were sold, with organic cattle and sheep fetching a £50-£60/head and £5-£10/head premium over conventional animals, respectively.