29 October 1999

Cull ewes still on the increase

THE tide of cull ewes still show little sign of stemming.

"Numbers coming through have been high for so long, and they just keep coming," commented David Benson, at Rye, Sussex, on Monday. The market handled about 300 that day, topping at about £30 a head, and averaging £25-£26 a head. Heavier, meatier animals commanded the best prices.

Nov 5 is the traditional day for putting in the tups in that part of the world, and theres some surprise that sheep producers still appear not to have decided which animals will be kept back for breeding, and which will not.

"People who decided to put the ram in for an extra season last year are still having an impact on the market," said Mr Benson.

Taunton market rarely sells fewer than 1000 a week under normal circumstances, and that figure has been easily exceeded in recent weeks, with a sale of 2200 a fortnight ago, although is not noticeably higher than for the comparable period last year. &#42