Massive store turnout at Skipton sales

Skipton Auction Mart’s peak sheep sales season continues to produce massive turnouts, with another five figure entry at the latest fortnightly store lamb fixture, when almost 11,000 head of lambs were penned for sale.

It again attracted a large crowd of bidders from many parts of the country, with plenty of customers for the quality end, which took little selling. Long keep lambs found a level trade, with prices similar to previous sales, while medium and short keep lambs were not quite up to the quality seen recently, trading a pound or two easier than the previous fixture.

The 2,000-plus Mule wethers on offer were of a far more varied selection than of late, with the top end trading at £59 upwards, medium types £55 to £58 and long keep lambs generally £50 to £54.

The annual prize show for pens of 40 Masham wethers saw the title fall to Nidderdale breed stalwart David Verity, of W andR Verity, Middlesmoor, the victors heading the show prices when joining Malcolm Spensley in Elslack for £63.50 each, over £6 per head more than last year’s victors.

CCM Verity Masham Wethers champs pic 2.jpgDefending champion Ken Lister, of Kettlewell, had to be content with the runners-up slot this year, his pen selling for £55 a head to Devon purchaser Brian Webber. Show judge was Coverdale’s David Findlay.

Prizes for the highest priced pens of 50 or more lambs were again sponsored by JACS Trade and DIY Warehouse, Skipton. Townhead Farms, of Malham, presented the top price Continental-cross lambs at £77.50 per head.

The best of the Suffolks at £66.50 apiece came from Robert Metcalfe, of Brearton, Otley, while a pen of 57 Cheviots from Grain Farms, of Hebden Bridge, headed the Mule/hill lamb prices at £62 per head.

The overall selling average of £59.03 per head – £58.01 for store lambs and £68.14 for gimmer lambs – was only slightly down on the 2011 average.

Breed top and average prices were: Suffolk to £70.50 (av £60.99), Texel to £78 (£60.72), Mule to £68 (£53.30), Beltex to £80 (£70.32), Charollais to £64 (£60.53), Cheviot to £73 (£59.35), Lonk to £51 (£41.27), Swaledale to £50 (£31.94), Masham to £63.50 (£59.55). Gimmer lambs: Texel to £90 (£70.75), Suffolk to £83.50 (£68.61), Cheviot to £69 (£61.32), Beltex to £75.50 (£70.63).

Another huge turnout of up to 12,000 store lambs is expected at Skipton’s next fortnightly sale on Wednesday, September 19.

Jeremy Eaton, Skipton Auction Mart’s general manager, explained: “The type of keep available with the recent wet weather has meant that some producers have been short of meadow aftermath to wean lambs on to, so encouraging more of them to sell store lambs. The simplicity of selling them in large batches to a huge number of buyers is also proving more and more attractive.”