After two weeks of weather-affected trading, an across-the-board increase in numbers was seen at CCM Skipton’s weekly sales of prime cattle and sheep, and rearing calves.
Making up the lion’s share of the 103-strong entry of prime cattle were 81 cast cattle, with buyers for all categories of cull cows, all classes dearer on the week and wide-ranging interest for feeding cows.
Limousin-x entries were responsible for the top three prices, peaking at £1,235, 161.5p/kg, for a submission by K M andL Throup, Silsden Moor, with G Hayton and E C Stocks, Storiths, heading the black and white prices at £1,063. The overall cull cows average was £757.14 a head, or 118.76p/kg.
Prime cattle aged 30 to 48 months averaged £788.42, 128.2p/kg, selling to a per head high of £1,089 for an Aberdeen Angus-x from Jeff Throup, Silsden, and a by-weight top of 155.5p/kg for a black and white heifer from C M and E M Gratton, Ripley.
Black and white heifers also proved the pick of the under 30-month entries, with J D Crabtree and Son, Burnt Yates, top on price at £1,086 and C M and E M Gratton again chipping in with the best by weight price of 168.5p/kg.
Conversely, the higher turnout of 3,658 head of prime sheep reflected a greater supply of numbers countrywide due to less severe weather, with all classes generally 5p to 10p cheaper on the week.
Commercial Continental export hoggs traded at 150-160p/kg, plainer sorts at 140-150p/kg, with the smarter end making 180-200p/kg and selling to a per head high of £97 and a by weight top of 225p/kg for Beltex pens from John Airey, Elslack, and J S Eddleston, Great Harwood, respectively.
Ewe trade was a copper or two stronger on the week, with heavy Continentals achieving £85 to £115, and smarter Mule ewes £3 to £5 each dearer.
The overall selling average of £57.23 a head, or 141.03p/kg, was not helped by an increased proportion of light lambs, with 612 hoggs out of the entry scaling 35kg or less.
Cull ewes were slightly down when averaging £49.50, with A Atkinson, Felliscliffe, again heading the prices with a £111.50 Texel pen. Cast rams sold to a high of £68.50 for a Charollais from Stephen Pepper, Oxenhope.
While trade was mixed for the 52 rearing calves forward, more buyers for black and white calves produced buoyant trade, with a three-month-old pure-bred Friesian from G Hayton and E C Stocks, Storiths, achieving £260 and a 42-day-old youngster from P A Whittaker, Bolton Abbey, reaching £170.
The overall black and white average was a healthy £113 a head.
Confidence in Continentals was not as strong as of late, though a British Blue-x bull calf from D L Leeming, Burnt Yates, was knocked down for £300, the day’s top price, while the best of the heifer calves, another British Blue-x from A L Dean and Son, Threshfield, made £288. There was an overall rearing calf average of £147.25 a head.
Six hundred head of cattle were on parade for CCM’s fortnightly sale, with young feeding bulls notably good to sell and premium quality entries regularly achieving £1,100-plus. Younger bulls for farming were keenly sought after.
Runs of strong heifers were the highlights in the store cattle ring, with W Mason and Son, Appletreewick, hitting the headlines with their annual 39-strong consignment of 20-month-old Charolais females, which topped at £1,440 and averaged a robust £1,204 a head. The overall Continental-x heifer average was £909.04, with a native average of £883.75.
Other stronger bullocks and heifers were in demand, while younger bullocks and heifers under 12-months-old saw the best maintain the previous sale’s prices, though 2nd quality types were marginally easier in price.
Store bullocks sold to a Continental x average of £1,015.75, and a native average £817.78, with a Limousin-x from Patrick Walker, Appletreewick, the pick on price at £1,315. The two top price pens of three British Blue-x bullocks from John and Alison Spensley, Thorlby, sold for £1,165 and £1,160 a head respectively.
The Continental-x young bulls average was £948.15 a head, with a high of £1,400 for a Limousin-x from T W H Farming, Wigton, with the breed also responsible for the top price pen of three or more bulls from E and S C L Harker and Son, Lofthouse, which made £1,000 each.