The busy season for dairy dispersals will soon be here and, as usual, the West Country will be the scene of many. To get a flavour of what the autumn trade might be like, FW called in at a sale on the Devon-Somerset border last week…
Like many dispersals, this one was prompted by a retirement – in this case, that of Donald Lancaster (pictured).
Time for a pre-sale cuppa… Having a chat and a brew is Kevin Branton (right), who washed and clipped the stock, ensuring it was in tip-top order.
Tredown Farm, Clayhidon, has been home to the herd since 1985. There, 900ft above sea-level, it was run commercially on the Blackdown Hills, averaging 6502kg at 4.37% butterfat and 3.13% protein, according to NMR figures for 1995/96. The herd was originally established near Holsworthy nearly 50 years ago.
For some people, getting a good view can necessitate a shoulder ride.
A picture of concentration… those at the event saw 140 animals on offer, nearly 60 of which were between their first- and fourth-lactation.
Father and son John and Roger Maynard look on with Tredowns herdsman Colin Pople (right).
Pens and catalogues at the ready with the action in full swing… This was a day when the highest bid was 970gns. The average price, excluding the barreners, was just over £700, according to auctioneers Kittows.