An increased entry of store lambs met a solid trade at Skipton on Wednesday, with the entry of just shy of 3000 lambs averaging a very healthy £62.91.
Bearing in mind the fluctuating prime lamb trade at the moment the sale, which saw 440 more lambs traded than the corresponding fixture last year bodes well for the forthcoming trade.
Top call of £75.50 went to the day’s championship winning pen of Suffolk cross lambs from Dales sheep farmer Michael Parker, Winterburn, who was repeating his championship success at the corresponding 2009 fixture. His 2012 victors sold to F Errington and Son, Penrith. Mr Parker presented a consignment of 270 Suffolk-cross, with other pens selling well at £66.50 and £65 a head.
Top price honours were shared by the second prize pen of 42 Texel-cross-Beltex lambs from father and son farmers Richard and Robert Greenwood, West Marton. They sold F Tomlinson, Wigton.
The increased entry did, though, result in the average slipping by £2.77 on last year’s opeing sale, said auctioneer Jeremy Eaton.
“We were delighted with the trade, bearing in mind that weather conditions this year have not proved ideal for cropping ground to provide aftermath grazing for store lambs,” explained Mr Eaton.
Livestock sales manager and auctioneer Ted Ogden noted: “A good show included lambs for short, medium and long-term keep. Smart Texel and Beltex types sold for around £65 to a high of £75.50 per head, while stronger lambs were in the mid-£60s. Medium-sized lambs were generally £58 to £62, with nice keeping lambs selling in the mid to late £50s. Several pens of Mule lambs found a ready ringside and sold to average £52 per head.”
A total of 1,777 Texel cross store lambs averaged £62.73, 30 Charollais cross £70.20, 155 Mule Wethers £52.02 and 12 Lonk Wethers £56.88.
In addition, 179 breeding ewes found a ready market, with particular interest in 110 commercial Mule shearlings, which sold to an overall average of £128.29 and to a high of £142 for a pen from C and N Shearing, Littledale, Lancaster. T C Crick, Hawes, also sold four Mule shearling pens at £130 a head, along with Texel-cross shearling pens at £123, £122 and £120.