6 November 1998

Crewe prices bring a little sparkle for in-milk cattle

By Jeremy Hunt

TRADE for in-milk dairy cattle is showing signs of an improvement and the £100 lift in the average price at Crewe last week was a welcome boost for vendors at the monthly sale of the North Western Holstein Friesian Breeders Club.

A good crowd, with buyers from as far away as London and Scotland, put an edge to the trade, levelling the 118 calved heifers at £761.

Although trade was patchy for older cattle, younger cows and heifers were well cashed with the cow average up by £87 and heifers leaping by £100 compared with a month ago.

The reserve champion heifer combined good looks with a useful pedigree and sold for the days top price of 1700gns. Brookfield BC Papoose, from &#42 E and A Sherratt, Stafford, is by Boulet Charles and out of a Broker dam with nine successive generations of VG and Excellents behind her. Buyer was John Wainwright for his Dowlow herd at Buxton, Derbys.

St Martins, Oswestry farmers Graham and Carol Meaden have recently established their Oak Leaf herd and paid 1400gns to add Saxelby Wa Del Patricia, a four-weeks calved Wa-Del Mystique heifer from A W and R M Stafford, Melton Mowbray.

John and Jeremy Platt, Northwich, Cheshire, saw their calved heifer Lachstone Sunlight Lite make 1100gns to N Moreton, Northern Ireland. And Norfolk supporter of this sale, Robert Paterson, Thetford, took 1050gns from &#42 G Bean, Kirkbymoorside, North Yorks for the calved heifer Airfield Jubilant Ring.

Harold and Pat Crapper, Dronfield, Derbys dispersed their Birchcross herd two years ago but still "dabble" successfully with a few hand-picked bought-in females.

A week before the Crewe fixture they had stood champion at Lichfield and made it a double taking the tricolour here under judge Mr Steven Moore (Danevalley herd). Winner was the tall and stylish calved heifer Huddlesford Contraflo Pie bred by Tom Cope and Son and bought as a six-month-old stirk.

She was giving 32kg a day after calving in mid-September and made 1000gns to N J Hyland and Co, Co Down. (Wright-Manley) &#42