Quality counted at the first sale of the year for auctioneers Greenslade Taylor Hunt. With more than 200 milking cows and heifers put through the ring plus youngstock drawing four volume buyers from Wales, the trade was more selective than the end of 2012 with buyers looking for breeding and strength.

The day included the dispersal of David and Jenny Haywood’s herd, which auctioneer Derek Biss said was one of the best flying dairy herds to be sold through Sedgemoor Auction Centre. This was supported by the fact they produced the day’s top price of 3,800gns for everyone’s pick the freshly calved 3rd calver Stroudmead Aida 99th by Shottle. She had given 13,000kgs in her 2nd lactation and joins one of Somerset’s most respected herd being the Courtway herd of Robert Puddy. 14 further cows and heifers from this herd exceeded £2,000.

The day’s top priced heifer at 3,000gns came from the much admired heifer of Ashlea Holsteins Noremead Shottle Rapture 2nd she was out of no less than 12 generations of excellent dams. From the same vendor at 2,500gns was Willsbro Bogart Amanda 3rd. The second top priced heifer was the Red Polled Nethervale La Belle Red from Olympic Holsteins at 2,800gns.

Other collective heifers achieved 2,400gns for the homebred Keevil Shottle Countess from A and J E Fewings, 2,300gns for Roland and Simon Buglers Bettiscombe Knowledge Strawberry 89th with other Bettiscombe heifers sold for 2,200gns, 2,100gns x 2. Other vendors over 2,000gns were P J Andrews, L G Bagg, F H Chave and Son and D C Dennis and Son. The 2nd dispersal of the day was for R G Elliott who sold January calved cows to 1,700gns.

Commercial incalf heifers from L S Pow and Son due in February by Wa-Del Hayden out of a 11,000kgs dam sold to 1,750gns. Bulling heifers from R G Elliott’s dispersal sold to 1,040gns for daughters of Burlane Tennyson and Kirblythe Doliver and heifer calves from M J and M D Day to 420gns for Cloverfields Gratis Everlyse.

Another large monthly entry saw no less than 60 successful different purchasers from Cornwall to Pembrokeshire generate goodaverages:

13 collective cows, £1870.00; 67 collective heifers, 1917.00; 16 commercial incalf heifers, £1452.00; nine bulling heifers, £1036.00; seven heifer calves, £345.00

D T and J A Haywood Dispersal 72 dairy cows, £1530.00; 21 calved heifers, £1824.00; 1 heifer calf, £315.00; 93 head, £1597.00