Calved cows and heifers met a much stronger demand than expected at the Quota Filler sale at Taunton this week.

Bidders moved up a gear compared with trading in the first two weeks of the year and took prices to 1850gns.

The sale’s 38 females averaged 1157 which reflected a move back into the marketplace for buyers looking for freshly calved dairy stock.

Auctioneer Derek Biss said: “Things had just gone off the boil in the first couple of weeks of the year but today we were back on track although it was fresh milk that was wanted.

It looks like prices are set to remain strong in the coming weeks.”

Although there was a contingent of Welsh dairy farmers at the ringside the strongest bidding came from West Country buyers with Cornwall dairy farmer D Parkhouse leaving the sale yard with 26 head.

But it was Taunton milk producer Geoff Bickham who paid the day’s top price of 1850gns for Dorset farmers David and Valerie Norman’s calved cow Ciderhouse Lexikon Colanthe 2nd.

This fresh third calver is by Olympian Lexikon and out of a three times 9400kg-plus dam.

A good consignment from the Bettiscombe herd of Bridport vendors Roland and Simon Bugler produced two 1600gns bids – both from Mr Parkhouse.

He took a December-calved second calver by Comestar Lee giving 43kg and a fresh second calver by Crichel Principal.

The Buglers achieved the day’s highest individual average of 1230 and also led the cow average with eight levelling at 1379.

The sale incorporated the dispersal of West Country farmer David Squire’s old established Worthill herd, which produced a strong demand for calved heifers – 16 averaged 1303 – and saw a blistering trade for yearlings to achieve an average of 558.

Mr Parkhouse led the trade giving 1750gns for a November calved heifer by Eastview Meadowford while Bodmin milk producer Mark Oliver paid 1600gns for a fourth calver by Etazon Lord Lily with a previous best of 11,331kg.

Averages: Quota Filler – 16 calved heifers 1005 and 20 calved cows 1279. Worthill – 16 freshly calved heifers 1303, 55 cows and heifers 961, four in-calf heifers 884, bulling heifers 566 and yearling heifers 558.

(Greenslade Taylor Hunt)

jh@jeremyhuntassociates.com