Uncertainty in the milk markets is continuing to have a knock-on effect on dairy cow trade with prices remaining low.
Senior dairy auctioneer Glyn Lucas of Harrison & Hetherington said top prices at the monthly Border and Lakeland sale last week (15 July) were almost identical to those of 2005, with a top call of 1,500gns and a sale average of £1,336.
He said while uncertainty remained so to would the depressed trade. However he encouraged farmers wanting to secure animals to look at the home markets first, before importing.
See also: Dairy Crest holds milk prices for July
Speaking to Farmers Weekly, Mr Lucas said: “There is better value in the UK now than importing.
“We are seeing animals coming forward and we expect there to be more in the coming weeks due to dispersals.
“While prices are depressed animals are selling. I expect we could see some farmers taking out the bottom end of the dairy herd and replacing with more efficient animals,” he added.
Border and Lakeland sale
The Border and Lakeland sale at Carlisle saw almost a full clearance. Leading trade at 1,500gns was overall champion Boclair Stanleycup Camilla consigned by David Brewster, Glasgow.
She was giving 38kg from a super line of Excellent and Very Good cows. She now joins the herd of J Bryson, Dykehead Farm.
A close-to-perfect balanced heifer consigned by Brian and Craig Davidson, Errolston, Gretna, sold for 1,450gns to N and K Forshaw, Meadowside Farm. She was sired by Errolston Redesign and was the third generation bred by home-bred sires.
Ian Leak from the Seabreeze herd sold an outstanding Gillette Stanleycup daughter, just eight days fresh on sale day.
She sold for 1,420gns to the Coulthard family, Justicetown Farm.
One of the eye-catching pedigrees in the catalogue was Tonian Seaver Inksou, sired by Seaver great granddaughter of the All Canadian Dreane Astre Inksou EX96.
This stylish black heifer sold for 1,380gns to local breeder K Brough and Son, Bolton Low Houses, Wigton.
At the 50th anniversary show and sale of dairy cattle at Lancaster, one of the best shows of heifers were forward.
Topping trade in front of a packed ringside was Drinkall Bros, Catshaw Hall Farm, with Pennine Poppy 1179.
Sired by Ked Outside Jeeves, this freshly calved cow giving 33kg sold to Messrs Coulthurst, Longridge, for £2,120.
Also breaking the £2,000 barrier, was the second-prize, second-calver cow from R and E Butterfield. Bred from two generations of Ex cows, she sold giving 42 litres, for £2,080.
The champion heifer, Stardale Vast Vaakje 9, sired by Stardale Vast and from the renowned Vaakje family, sold to a final call of £1,980.
The reserve champion was also from J Burrow and Son, Tunsteads Farm.
Stardale Admiral Stella 2, sired by Smithden Admiral and supported by three generations of VG and Ex cows, achieved £2,050.
Commenting on trade, auctioneers said all heifers sold to their full value, with an overall average of £1,575 for heifers, £95 up on the previous month, and £1,650 for cows.
At Gisburn’s pedigree sale (16 July) trade was brisk with buyers filling orders.
Whytil Lavanguard Snowdrift took the champion rosette and sold at a top price of 2,000gns.
Out of a VG dam and giving 35 litres, she was bought by F Talbot & Co.
WA and A Booth’s Feizor Shadow S Delia took the reserve slot and sold at £1,950 to a local pedigree breeder.
She was by B-Crest Shadow and out of a 13,000kg dam.
The Booths were also in the money when selling a Gillette Jordan heifer out of the Squaw family, to north Wales, at £1,900.
Malcolm Fell, Newton, had a strong show of cattle, with the first-prize cow by Feizor Monty selling at £1,960 and heifers sired by Twinfields Mr Hudson and Crackholm Fever selling at £1,950 and £1,980.
A Bretherton, Inglewhite, sold a milky heifer by Emerald-Acr-Sa T-Baxter and out of the famous Daybreak family for £1,850.
Non-registered heifers peaked at £1,880 for Shackletons of Broughton Fields and £1,660 for veteran heifer rearer PK Smith who, at over 80, is still as keen as ever.