25 April 1997


HOLSTEIN FRIESIANS: The Somerset hamlet of Weston Bampfylde saw one of its biggest ever gatherings of farmers last week when Christopher Smith dispersed his herd. Top price was 1000gns for a February calver taken by local dairy farmers Down Ash Partners. In-calf heifers reached 720gns. Averages: 58 cows and heifers £666; 10 served heifers £611 and 13 empty heifers and calves £427. (R B Taylor and Sons)

FINISHED CATTLE: Ludlow, Shropshire, saw an improved trade for intervention-spec steers on Monday – but for nothing else, report auctioneers McCartneys. One of the reasons for the poor trade for those that fall outside the intervention market is because carcasses, having been rejected for intervention, are "dumped" back on the open market. At the same time, some spoilt heifers are being sold. Many would have been better sold six weeks earlier, say the auctioneers. Light, medium and heavy steers averaged 95.1p/kg, 101.8p/kg and 96.1p/kg, respectively.

MACHINERY: A recent sale at Home Farm, Chilcompton, Somerset, saw prices including £16,000 for a Ford 8340 tractor; £11,900 for a JCB Loadall; £5600 for a Keenan 100 silage feeder; and £4200 for a Kverneland four-furrow reversible plough. The farms Holstein Friesian herd, meanwhile, saw June-calving heifers make to £819 and bulling heifers to £525, according to auctioneers Cooper and Tanner.

MILK QUOTA: Over 3m litres were offered at Frank R Marshalls first leasing auction of the year at Chelford, Cheshire. The auction saw a top bid of 12.20p/litre for 5.10% butterfat quota, with an overall average of 9.71p/litre.

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