By Farmers Weekly staff

ALL eyes are on the breeding ewe trade to see whether the slip in cull values has a knock-on effect for those buying in replacements.

Singles and couples have been a keen trade following several weeks of strong hogg and cull ewe prices nationwide, but both are easing.

Typically, Suffolk cross ewes with single lambs continue to command over 40 a life, report auctioneers at United Auctions Dingwall venue.

For main breeds, that is not far out from centres further south. However, hill breeds are back with plainer Welsh ewes with singles making about 20 a pair, report auctioneers at Welshpool.

Where hoggs have shrugged off the easing back of prices, Michael Bowe of Penrith market says shepherds who have fed on geld hoggs – those which were tupped but did not produce a lamb this season – are still seeing a good return.

That will bring more cash to the breeding ring: “The better sorts are returning double the money they were bought for last season and making 45-50 a head,” he explains.

“And those who invested in shearlings last year looking to get more lambs out, compared with a gimmer lamb, will want to maintain a regular age in their flock. Shearlings could be in demand again.”