Livestock Farmer Focus: John Bainbridge is divided over sheep prices

This article finds us between the two main sales of our mule gimmers. If the second sale goes as well as the first, we will be pleased after averaging £104 with 122 lambs. Opinion is divided among buyers as to whether these lambs are too expensive.

Those just buying to run on and sell them as shearlings must feel their margin is going to be squeezed. On the other hand, those buying to replace drafted ewes appear to be happy paying a bit more. I for one hope geld ewe trade remains buoyant.

Sale time is also good for meeting farmers from other parts of the country and hearing about their experiences during the past year. We northern hill farmers appreciate the distances some travel to buy our lambs. However, we must not forget all the local trade we receive as well.

Last month, I wrote we had not managed to make any hay. This all changed when a call came from a generous neighbour offering a surplus 18 acres of second-cut grass. I jumped at the opportunity and made 108 round bales of good-quality hay that is now safely stacked away along with some second-cut of our own.

A Farm Assured British Beef and Lamb representative called wanting to visit – he always wants to come at the most inappropriate time. He sounded a little bit obnoxious, saying he would be busier than I was. Sounds like he could be a fun guy to meet.

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