Prices rise for fleshy ewes

By FW staff

CULL ewe prices are rising steadily, especially for the bigger
well-fleshed Suffolks and Continentals.

And the consensus among auctioneers is that prices should creep up
through the retention period, which runs from 4 February to 15 May.

Many auctions
have now broken the £40 a head barrier. A week ago at Northampton, Suffolk and Continental ewes made
£35 to £42, though at the bottom end, small hill ewes made £4 to £5.

Auctioneer Michael Carter is
confident that numbers will get shorter and values will steadily rise.

Richard Hyde at Hereford reckons
extra ewes have been put under retention this year. And many of those intended for killing would not appear
in markets until replacements with lambs at foot had been bought and were on the farm, possibly in late
March or April, he says.

The bigger cull ewes through Hereford were mainly North Country Mules and Mr
Hyde hopes the best might get into the £40s. But hill breed ewes were likely to remain difficult.

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