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7 April 2000


The dispersal of the late John Thomass collection of vintage David Brown kit drew buyers from Scotland, N Ireland and the midlands to Townend Farm, near Beverley, E Yorks last weekend. An immaculate DB 1200 Selectamatic made ££2100 with many of the C and D models selling for £400-£575. Match ploughs fetched £800. (Ullyott & Butler)

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20 October 1995


Commercial milk producers and pedigree breeders had the chance to buy Ayrshires from three top herds last week, when a collective sale was held at Burnham, Bucks. (Thimbleby & Shorland)

For the first time, this long-established sale included an entry from the Royal Farms Windsor herd. Having begun to milk Ayrshires in the early 1950s, the herd prefix was first registered in Coronation year, 1953. It has now been built up to 150 cows with 150 followers. Milk average for 1993/94 was 6040kgs at 4.11% butterfat and 3.29% protein.



Hitcham heifers1400706

Windsor heifers590557

Hartley bullers 510429

Hartley heifers750562

For Pat Stallard, meanwhile, who had decided to retire, this marked the final offering of stock from her Hartley herd. Her late husband Monty was well known as one of the most progressive breeders in the country.

Pictures by Keith Huggett

Top price, at 1400gns, went to the June 1992-born Hitcham Eve 119. By Bankend Photo Finish and out of Hitcham Eve 108, she gave 6183kgs in her first lactation at 3.84% butterfat and 3.09% protein. Her new home is with the Windsor herd. Next best call was 880gns, with several others close behind.

Auctioneer Michael Kimber (left) with Mr and Mrs Woodley. The Hitcham herd recorded an 1993/94 average of 6168kgs at 4.0% butterfat and 3.28% protein. Among their string of show successes are first prizes in the best cow in milk and best senior cow sections at this years Dairy Event.

The sale marked the 20th home sale of the Hitcham herd on behalf of the Woodley family. Also on offer on the day were stock from Pat Stanleys Poulton-based Hartley herd, and from the Queens nearby Windsor herd.

Left: The Woodley family with the top-priced lot. Having built up the herd from nine cows in 1947, 81-year-old Arthur (right) now leaves day-to-day management to his daughter, Adrienne and son-in-law Fred. Above: And among the tasks to be organised was providing food for the 100-plus visitors to the sale. The fact that Adrienne broke her arm two days earlier setting up the sale ring didnt help matters either…

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21 April 1995







Ashley Ward

(South East Marts)

RELUCTANCE of multiples to switch across totally to new season lamb will ensure the hogget season continues well into May, says Ashley Ward.

"The Easter trade is always on a see-saw, with none of the big multiples wanting to commit themselves purely to new season lamb because they are worried about the volume of supply," he says.

"But this year they have been desperate to make the move because they cant get the quality of hoggets they want." And this "terrible fall" in quality has, says Mr Ward, been countrywide.

"The difference in price which will be seen between well and badly finished hoggets is going to be vast. Even on a flat trade, we have seen good-quality stock making £60. But they are a rarity.

"This years trade, like lasts, could go on, and on and on. Inevitably, it tends to be the poorer animals still in the pipeline. But there will be a reasonable return available for producers who are prepared to spend, say, £5 or £8 on finishing them.

"All the multiples like to run some form of lamb special at Easter. But they seemed reluctant to commit themselves this year as they have in the past.

"We were just selling dribs and drabs from the middle to the end of March," he says. And seeing 300 lambs at Guildfords Easter show, compared with just 15 the previous week, leads Mr Ward to suggest that farmers used the event as a "launch-pad" for the new season.

The show champion, at 33kg, made £81 (245p/kg). Most of the prize-winning stock made 160p to 170p/kg or above.

"Returns are going to be down on last year," he adds. "We have seen animals making £60 which, 12 months before, would have been selling for nearer £70."

The overall show average was slightly under 150p/kg. "But perhaps one-third of the stock was a bit thick. These heavy lambs could have been sold well in the two or three weeks before the show."

Holding on to such lambs, especially when they are on a semi-intensive system, he describes as a "recipe for disaster".

"There was unlikely to be any big change in price from week to week, so for producers who had stock ready earlier in the month it made sense for them to sell.

"Over-feeding not only means the animal is costing more than it should be but it also means its value is being discounted, as it is too fat for what the trade wants."

But Mr Ward also points out that a little bit of fat is not a bad thing. "The emphasis has changed from a couple of years ago. Then a 2 to 3L grade was the prime product. Now it is closer to a 3H.

"One would have hoped new season lamb prices would have begun to take off by the end of April. But producers should remember that, though the price might be moving in their favour, the quality of what they are holding on to may not be." &#42

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