Two West Midlands dairy units sold for well over their guide prices at auction last month, with Irish interest helping to drive up values.

Both farms were sold by Wright Manley and the firm’s John Lewis said demand in the area was still exceptionally strong despite falling milk prices.

“The logic doesn’t stack up, but then it never has.”

Bates Farm at Maer, near Newcastle, Staffordshire, which Mr Lewis auctioned on 6 July, had a pre-auction guide of £2m, but made £2.75m and at least one Irish farmer was among the bidders.

But it was a local businessman and farmer whose bid took the 447-acre farm, which included a five-bedroom house and 1m litres of quota.

In the case of Northwoods Farm at Audlem, Cheshire, however, Irish money did prevail.

On 31 July the 236-acre ring-fenced farm went under Graham Martyn’s gavel to a buyer from Northern Ireland for just over £2m, against a guide of £1.5m.

The farm came with 1.7m litres of quota and a five-bedroom house.

Mr Manley said he had a retained client looking for a dairy farm, but the firm had no more large sales lined up for the autumn.

Most of the dairy farmers leaving the sector were keeping their land rather than sell up, he said.

North-west auctioneer Richard Turner & Son was also in action, selling 136-acre Farside Farm at Cliviger, near Burnley, Lancashire, and 46-acre Townhead Farm at Raisbeck, near Orton, Cumbria.

Farside Farm, a commercial beef and sheep farm with a four-bedroom stone house, made its guide of £800,000, while Townhead, an attractive grass farm, exceeded expectations, selling for £432,000.

In Wales, McCartneys sold 42-acre Llwn-Fawydd Farm at Nantmel, near Llandrinod Wells, Radnorshire, for £350,000.

And in Monmouthshire, RG and RB Williams had a good result when the Ross-on-Wye firm sold High House Farm, Bryngwyn, near Raglan, on 11 July.

The 77-acre farm with a five-bedroom house and buildings made £843,000 in three lots.

andrew.shirley@rbi.co.uk