Dales father and son dairy farmers Jim and Jonathan Caygill secured their first-ever Craven Dairy Auction championship and were also reponsible for the reserve champion at the opening July show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart.
The Caygills, who trade as J Caygill and Partners at Manor House Farm, Rylstone, have been building their pedigree Holstein Friesian dairy herd – it now stands at 200-strong – and were returning to the show arena with their first crop of newly calven heifers.
Both their home-bred champion and reserve were products of the Genus ABS sexation system. The victor, who calved two weeks before the show and was giving 32 litres, sold for a price-topping £2,350 to Paul Bolland, of Airton. The three weeks-calved runner-up, giving 27.5 litres, joined the same buyer for £2,200 and the Caygills also sold a third newly calven heifer for £2,280.
“We have been using a lot of sexed semen, which guarantees a heifer calf, to good effect and we expect to sell up to 40 newly calven heifers a year at Skipton,” explained Jonathan.
The Senterprise pedigree dairy herd of Mark Houseman, who trades as Church Farm Enterprises at Burton Top Farm, Burton Leonard, and won his first Craven Dairy Auction championship at the opening June show, was again to the fore when presenting the third prize newly calven heifer, knocked down at £1,700 to ringside regular Wick Williams, of Nantwich, Cheshire.
Mr Williams also acquired the first and second prizewinners in the show class for newly calven cows, both from Andrew Lumb, of Oakworth. The red rosette winner made £1,290, the runner-up £1,220.
Best of the maiden heifers from CR and MR Greenwood, of Otley, sold for £740 to GD Holme, of Bolton Abbey. With 26 pedigree and commercial dairy cattle forward, newly calven heifers averaged £1,585, newly calven cows £1,287 and maiden heifers £740.