1 October 1999

Ram averages rise

IN an atmosphere suggesting the sheep sector has "bottomed out", commercial producers set a cracking pace for Texel rams at the Solway and Tyne club sale, Carlisle where 219 lambs averaged £259 – a rise of £60.89 on the year.

And with many aiming to capitalise on quality prime lambs, bidders lifted the average for the 146 shearlings to £255 – up £33.26. Hill farmers were active throughout the day as more horned sheep look likely to produce lambs for the hook next season.

Robert Forsyths run of top prices continued when a ram lamb from his Baltier flock, sired by the late Culter Allers Exocet, made 5500gns to Malcolm Reid, Co Tyrone. Fellow Northern Ireland breeder Alan Cochrane sold a ram lamb from his Seneirl flock for 3600gns to Miss C Wise, Stockton, Cleveland.

And a Seneirl ram by an Eastfield tup led the shearlings at 900gns selling to Messrs Jenkinson, Penrith. Another Culter Allers sire was responsible for the overall champion in a shearing ewe from the local Gaitsgill flock of Robert Pigg and Son. Buyer at 2700gns was Mr Reid. (Harrison and Hetherington) &#42