18 July 1997


FORAGE: New-season hay in small bales was selling for between £55 and £65/t at Chelford market, Cheshire, on Monday. The first entry of new-crop barley straw at nearby Chester the following day made £40/t. Meanwhile hay in the field (loaded) was making between £40 and £70/t, according to the British Hay and Straw Merchants Association.

HOLSTEIN FRIESIANS: Top price cow at the dispersal of the Sneyd herd at Lichfield last week was 2400gns. Newroddige Prelude Meg ET had given 4332kg in 130 days at 3.29% butterfat and 3.01% protein and was recently served to Singingbrook NB Mascot. She joined the Huddlesford herd of T &#42 Cope and Son. Her six-month-old daughter, Sneyd Matt Meg by Meadolake Rorae Matt ET, went for 860gns. The event, on behalf of M Fletcher and V W Saxton, saw 76 cows and heifers with calves average £903. Maiden heifers averaged £515, while young calves levelled £353, report auctioneers Bagshaws.

STORE PIGS: Top price at Exeter, Devon, on Monday was £45. A sow and litter made £232, while culls made to a top of 57.2p/kg. Finished pigs were worth less than the week before, however, with hot weather hitting demand, according to Exeter Market Auctioneers. It was a similar story nationwide, with the overall average down more than 1p/kg to 89.58p/kg.

FINISHED SHEEP: Auctioneers McCartneys noted that exporters were again complaining about the strength of sterling on Monday at Ludlow. Averages were 112.5p/kg for superlights; 113p/kg for lights; 116.1p/kg for standards; 116.1p/kg for mediums; and 112p/kg for heavies. McCartneys also held a sale of standing straw on the same day, with over 810ha (2000 acres) on offer. But much was unsold, with prices determined by demand from neighbouring farmers. Averages were £25.77/ha (£10.43/acre) for winter barley; £21.52/ha (£8.71/acre) for winter oats; and £16.43/ha (£6.65/acre) for winter wheat.

CULL EWES: Average price at Banbury, Oxon, last Thursday was £38.02/head. Best Suffolk and Continental ewes were making between £45 and £56.50, with well-fleshed Mules from £38 to £47.50. Once again, fat Mules were hard to place, and changed hands at £35-£38, with overfat Suffolks around £40. Lightweight Welsh and Beulahs sold from £26 to £32, with very lean sorts around £20, report auctioneers Midland Marts.

OTMS: By Jul 4, the number of cattle slaughtered in 1997 in the UK under the over-30-month-scheme was 421,786. Over the same period, 11,305 cattle had been killed under the selective slaughter scheme. The calf processing and aid scheme accounted for 254,164 head over that time, of which 85% were dairy-bred animals.

YOUNG BULLS: The entry of 81 at Bakewell, Derbyshire, on Monday sold to a top of 120p/kg for a lightweight Limousin cross, report auctioneers Bagshaws. There was no shortage of animals in the 115p-120p/kg bracket, with most Continental cross animals topping the 100p/kg-mark – a level which the best Friesians also reached. Plainer sorts were, however, making as little as 50p/kg for the worst Holstein, putting the overall average at 99.8p/kg.

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