28 March 1997


ENTRIES were up 25% on the norm at the latest machinery sale at Shobdon, Hereford and Worcester. About 100 lots came direct from finance companies, councils and water authorities. The star lot of the day, according to auctioneers Russell Baldwin and Bright, was a K-reg Ford 8340 tractor, which made £15,600.

DESPITE depressed prices for straw and silage, grazing land remains expensive to rent, according to Dreweatt Neate, who recently saw 92 acres of permanent pasture on a five-year farm business tenancy make a rent of over £222/ha (£90/acre) at tender. Driving demand are the desire to increase arable acres and the wish to reduce stocking rates, allowing extensification premiums to be claimed.

THE entry of cull ewes and rams topped the 2000-mark at Banbury, Oxon last week. Heavy Suffolks and Continentals were at between £70 and £80, with heavy Mules from £60-£69. Anything overfat was harder to sell and discounted, report auctioneers Midland Marts. Lean Mules were in the £40 to £55 range, with Welsh and Beulah entries making £25-£35. Lightweight and heavyweight ewes averaged £45 and £59, respectively. Rams levelled at £63.

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