A CRACKING START to the first of this year’s Holstein sales at Lancaster came as a surprise to vendors as they watched buyers confidently paying four figures for calved heifers throughout the day.

Although many milk producers weren’t expected to be in a mood to spend serious money, ringside chat revealed most bidders were chasing winter milk. “Cows haven’t milked as well as we expected this winter, so we’re here to buy some production,” said one buyer.

The overall average of 1127 was a reflection on the trade from all sections, with cows, heifers and even bulls levelling at over 1000. Only three animals were unsold and 44 head made 1000gns and over.

The top call of 3000gns came for the stylish calved heifer Alandrew Terrason Doll from Alan and Andrew Smith, Garstang, Lancs. This Innwood Terrason daughter is bred from the noted Doll family from Crudwell tracing back to Glenridge Senator Doll. Her 11,100kg dam is by Astre Starbuck.

A wagonload of cattle from Robert Burrow’s Stardale herd at Preston produced the day’s second highest call of 2500gns for a Wa-Del Convincer daughter. Stardale Convincer Rigola stood first in her class and sold to the Newsmith herd in Kilmarnock.

Kendal-based Wilson Boow earned 2400gns for Dunnerdale Alex taken by David Wallbank. She is from the Calbrett herd and goes back to the MVF Triple Threat Amanda family. Averages: six cows 1067; heifers 1118 and two bulls 1127 (Lancaster Auction Mart with Norton and Brooksbank).