23 May 1997


MILK QUOTA: Mondays leasing auction at Rugby, Warcs, saw over 1m litres lease between 9.9p and 13p/litre. Top price was for 4.98% butterfat quota. Overall average was 11p/litre, according to auctioneers Howkins and Harrison. On the same day, 1m litres were leased at Sturminster Newton, Dorset. Prices there reached 11.6p/litre, while the average was 11.25p/litre (3.93%). Demand for quota was strong, mainly due to the increased milk production following inclement weather conditions, say auctioneers Symonds and Sampson.

MACHINERY: Principal prices at P J and P W Robinsons recent dispersal at Blue House Farm, Bulphan, Essex, included £8450 for a Toyota Hi-Lux 4×4 diesel; £7800 for a set of Twose hydraulic rolls; £3900 for a Magyar steel triaxle trailer; and £2500 for a Ford Cargo pressure jetter. Auctioneers were Whirledge & Nott.

HOLSTEINS: The highest indexing Holstein herd ever to be dispersed in the UK will be sold by auctioneers Wright-Manley on Jun 10. The Kynarton herd, owned by brothers Andrew and Peter Chadwick, Bretton, Chester, was founded in 1947. The top 1% of all cows in the UK have a PIN of £34. All the cows in the Kynarton sale have an average PIN of £60.

CULL EWES: Monday markets saw a big increase in marketings, following the end of the sheep annual premium retention period last week. Nearly 50% more lightweight ewes were sold on Monday, compared with a week earlier. Average price was £29, down nearly £4. Among the heavier sorts, the rise in marketings was 58%, but the drop in prices was only £0.60 to £41/head. Auctioneer Mark Cleverdon at Ashford, Kent, who sold on Tuesday, says: "The best were between £41 and £47; thicker sorts were from £35 to £40; and plain entries were making between £25 and £32. Not much under £25."

DAIRY COWS: farmers weekly sample markets showed first-quality in-milk Friesians worth £860 last week. And from Frome, Somerset, Premier Livestock Auctions report a good available choice of calved heifers, with a top price of £1025.

CALVES: Latest figures show that 187,572 calves had been processed UK-wide under the calf slaughter scheme by May 9. Of these, 155,181 (83%) were dairy-bred animals. Current compensation rates are £85 and £108 for dairy and beef calves respectively.

LIMOUSIN: At the British Limousin Cattle Societys annual spring show at Banbury, Oxon, auctioneers Midland Marts saw buyers attend from throughout central and southern England and Wales. The event saw bulls top at 3000gns, averaging £1789. In the halter-led section, cows and calves made to 2200gns, averaging £1759; served heifers went to 1950gns, levelling £1536; and maiden heifers attracted a top bid of 1750gns, to average £1127.

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