Farmer Focus: Good shearlings could be north of £200 at sales

We have just returned from a glorious Denbigh and Flint County Show where the sun shone all day in between what has been a very wet few weeks.

Talking to a few neighbours, I got the sense they were torn between the pilgrimage of coming to the show and carrying on with the stop-start harvest.

We were returning to the show ring with my daughter’s Black Welsh Mountain sheep after a few years away. They are a new breed for us to show, and we were a little out of our depth, but we enjoyed it.

See also: Firm stores and £200 shearlings show confidence

About the author

Joe Mault
Livestock Farmer Focus writer
Joe Mault and his family run 850 commercial ewes and 60 suckler cows across 155ha (380 acres) near Corwen, north Wales. The farm produces Beltex and Charollais prime lambs and Charolais-cross store cattle and Joe also works at a local college.
Read more articles by Joe Mault

We were sort of successful – all the sheep we took got a rosette. Feedback from the judge, Dyfed Rowlands, on how to improve was particularly useful. So, I guess we will be back next year.

Sheep work has been on the agenda with harvest being so stubborn, and we have now finished weaning all the ewes and lambs.

The flock is in good condition compared with where we were last year, when not only did we have issues with fodder caused by the hot summer, but also some worm resistance in the breeding ewes.

After testing and working in conjunction with Daleside Vets, we identified a worm problem, and we treated the entire flock with the orange monepantel product.

Knowing what the issue is and what internal parasites are on the farm means that we were able to target the treatment more effectively.

An expensive process, but the consequences of not treating the problem would have been catastrophic. 

The sheep sales have started, and some sellers were predicting more than £300 for breeding ewes. So far, that hasn’t transpired.

Locally, good types are still selling well, with notable breeders of commercial sheep averaging above £200 for yearling ewes.

The main society sales will start in the coming weeks, so time will tell if averages will be up on the previous year.

In terms of society sales, I would like to wish my father good luck as he has been asked to judge the Welsh half-bred sale at Ruthin.

With the usual vendors attending, I have no doubt it will be a difficult task to pick a winner.