Auctioneers Greenslade Taylor Hunt are celebrating the anniversary of four years of business at Sedgemoor Auction Centre.
The auction centre opened in January 2008, and since then throughput of livestock has increased by 30% from 278,000 head in 2008 up to 359,000 in 2011.
And according to auction partner Robert Venner, who is in charge of sales at Sedgemoor, sales of prime cattle have risen from an average value of less than £800 to more than £950, with the best selling for well in excess of £1,400. This increase in value of finished cattle has reflected back through the store cattle, stirk and calf trades. Best calves are now selling for more than £400, compared to £300 in 2008.
Similarly prime lambs have increased from an average of less than £60 a head in 2008 to close to £90 in 2011. This increase in value has also been mirrored by the store lambs.
However, the most encouraging improvement in trade for farmers has been in their cull stock, says Mr Venner. Barren cows have increased from £560 to £730 and cull ewes from £31 to £78 on average.
Meanwhile breeding ewes have increased from an average of £60 to £113. And suckler cows have also increased in value dramatically, when both residual meat and rearing calf values have led the way.
With regards dairy cattle, Mr Venner says trade has returned to the level of two years ago with the best heifers now selling for more than £2,000 with very few cows and heifers selling for under £1000, fuelled by the strong barren cow trade.