Herefordshire farming reports May 5-12.

First published in News

Monmouthshire Market, May 5 and May 7

1708 finished sheep, 590 cull sheep, 547 store sheep, 310 store cattle, 34 cull cattle, 49 calves, six breeding cattle and 15 pigs.

An improved entry on both days for new season lambs with 361 offered.

SQQ Monday was 242.68 p/kg with Wednesday being noticeably slower at 227.65p/kg.

Top price per kg for the week was 255p/kg from Mrs A Jones (£88- 34.5kg). Top price per head was £100 which was achieved on numerous occasions, weights ranging from 40kg from TR Watkins and 46.7kg from GW Davies.

With the hoggets numbers now dwindling for the time of the year a premium was evident on well bred and evenly drawn tegs especially 40-44kg.Lightweights peaked at 228p/kg (£64-28.1kg) from Bowen Partners, standards to 214.00p/kg (79.50-37.1kg) PL and SM Williams, medium weights to 225p/kg (£91.50- 40.6kg) from D Parry and a good entry of heavy hoggets to 214p/kg (46.7kg) from GW Davies.

Keen interest was shown through the week on couples with full mouthed ewes with twin lambs from T Silverthorne selling for £171. Smart two-year-old ewes with 1.5 lambs at £155 from Miss E Morgan and singles to £135 from Halomark Ltd.

More couples required to satisfy current demand.

A smart run of store tegs from BK and DE Williams was presented who sold Suffolks for £94 and mules for £88. In the culls another strong trade was witnessed with ewes topping at £112 from JIT and H Matthews with other continentals at £105.50 from Halomark Ltd , £104 JL Williams and £102 PA and MJ Rymer. Speckle ewes sold to £83 from Mr Rymer, rams to £116 from EP Hunt and other strong tups £90-£100.

A smaller but a quality entry of store cattle was presented met a strong trade throughout especially for the best well-bred yearling steers.

Once again the strong steers were keenly contested selling to a top of £1250 on two occasions, firstly for Limousins from JCD and KA Richardson and Charollais from D Ruck. Other bunches also reached £1210 and £1200. In comparison younger steers looked even dearer with AG Morgan selling some 13 month old Limousins at £1025 (425kg) and £1045, GH Jones selling Charollais at £1035 and £985. A grand pair of named sire Herefords from MJ Hookway sold at £1185 (24mths- 475kg) with others at £1055 from the same home.

A quality entry of heifers sold to a lively trade topping at £1155 for British blues from DR Howells and Son and £1120 for Limousins from KR Morgan.

An excellent run of blue heifers from TP and AA Beavan and Sons sold to a strong trade with a top of £1060 with others at £990. 14mth old 355kg heifers sold at £840 from BW and MM Thomson and Partners.

A small entry of cows and calves topped at £1120 for a 2010 born blue cross cow with an April born heifer calf from CT and GT Williams with others to £1080. Interest seems to be growing every week.

The feeding bulls saw a selective trade topping at £830 for a strong Charollais from D and M Thomas with younger sorts at £660.

Much smaller entry of 34 cull cows saw very strong trade on all meated cows with the first quality averaging £1008 to top at £1295 for a super Limousin from RP Goatman, others to £1010 for a Blue from Gofarm Ltd, Holsteins to £995 from same home, blondes to £940 from R Morgan and the top dairy to £1045 from AR Edwards and Son. More required as two buyers hardly got started.

A good entry of 44 young calves saw a steady trade with the best price being £320 for a blue heifer from John Young with the best bull closely behind at £315 from AR Edwards and Son for a limousin.

A nice entry of Hereford calves from Philip Hunt were eagerly sought with bulls to £210 and heifers to £185. In the dairy bulls £100 was the peak with the young sorts around £30- £60.

A good trade was seen on the stronger calves with 3510 for a blue heifer from AR Edwards and Son being the highlight.

The disappointing note for the week was the small entry for the monthly pig sale. Fifteen smart pigs were sold to a 100 per cent clearance in front of a very large crowd.

The killing trade was only slightly down on the trade the previous months which was probably due to the lack of numbers and transport costs. However there was a noticeable increase in both interest and bidding for the weaners which looked very well sold at £44 from AJ Jones and Son.

Kington Market, May 6

McCartneys report good entry of store cattle, feeding cow and heifers with calves at foot for the sale.

Sale of cattle met with surprisingly good trade given rapid drop in fat cattle prices over past few weeks.

Stronger older store cattle would be easier trade than previous months’ sales but younger farming cattle would be well sought after.

There was mixed age entry of store cattle ranging from ten to 32 months.

All store cattle sold to pleasing trade on day to large number of buyers.

On the day organisers had an excellent entry of 55 heifers with calves at foot which sold to a full ring of buyers and to a strong trade. Top price paid for cattle on the day was £1270 for some limousin cross steers from Alan Pritchard.

Steers averaged £2.22 per kg with a top of £2.55 per kg for some limousin cross steers from JW and EG Sankey. All steers forward at the sale averaged £1062 per head with a top of £1270 per head.

Heifers averaged £1.95 per kg with a top of £2.15per kg for some Charollais cross heifers from Messrs Hammond. All heifers forward at the sale averaged £822 per head with a top of £1140 per head.

Feeding cows averaged £761 per head up to £800 from Jeff Davies.

Heifers with bull calves at foot averaged £1850 with a top of £2020 per outfit from DJ Morgan. Hiefers with heifer calves at foot averaged £1825 with a top of £2050 per outfit from DJ Morgan.

Other heifers with calves at foot sold to £1650 from CA and AJ Goodwin and to £1880 from MJ and J Synnock.

Hereford Market, May 7

Prime hoggs – 1336. A seasonal entry but again two trades for the two categories ‘meat and lean’.

These hoggs must be finished and finished properly, then the trade is fine – up to 232.6p but so many are lean and not many buyers want to finish hoggs further at this style of the game, but it does seem a waste to hold sheep to the second week of May and not put on the finishing ‘coat of paint’.

Heavies to £105.50 and export to 232.6p with all good export sheep 210p plus, SQQ 206.4p. Every sheep averaging £88.14.

Prime lambs – 916. A very good entry of top quality lambs averaged £94.60 for every lamb sold with SQQ of 234.8p, to £110 for 43.5kg with all good quality sheep 240p+. Lamb trade not as exciting as last year but please remember beef is at 340p-350p/kg and lamb 470p-500p/ kg and the Euro 82p.

More lambs needed to keep the orders.

Ewes/hoggs and lambs – 499.

Couples sold to a similar trade with stronger lambs and younger ewes always to highest prices. Top price was £184 for a bunch of 12 black faced ewes, mixed ages with 18 good lambs. Other pens of Suffolk x ewes with better lambs from £150 to £173. Just a few yearlings on offer sold to £181 for five Texel cross with their seven lambs. The draft of strong three year old north country mules mostly with twin lambs sold from £170 to £177 with other lowland doubles from £120 to £170.

Much smaller entry of hoggs and lambs with quality Texel crosses selling to £179. Most on offer were poorer sorts and sold from £88 to £124, with five suffolk crosses with their eight lambs at £150.

Older lowland ewes from £85 to £124, with hill type ewes with twins from £77 to £123. Top price for eight Cheviot ewes with their Texel cross lambs. Those with singles from £56 to £88. A total clearance effected.

Store/ewe hoggs – 164. Still a handful of feeding hoggs and these are still a super trade with hoggs to £84.80 and other stronger near-meat sorts from £70 to £78.20. Smaller hoggs from £45 to £65 and look a straight price. Fewer ewe hoggs forward on a day when many more could have found new homes.

Several prospective purchasers with many going home empty handed.

Highlight being a pen of Texel cross mules selling to £119, with others from £92 to £101. A pen of north country mules to £80.

Rearing calves – ten. Calves from three farms included six strong British blue cross calves from one farm. Two bull calves sold very well from £355 to £395, with four heifers to keen interest all at £290 or £295.

Three Hereford cross heifers sold again to competitive bidding from £100 to £240. One Simmental cross heifer at £170.

More people looking for calves – this weeks’ entry sold to five different buyers.

Cull ewes – 1004. A sound entry of cull ewes sold to another excellent trade averaging £76.06/head topping at £140/head for a ram from Mrs S Mason, Hill Barn.

Ewes topped at £120.50/head for a pen from JC Whistance and Son, Clifton House.

All types in strong demand with fierce competition from all sides.

More ewes could have been sold to advantage and organisers desperately require better entry next week to maintain excellent buying support.

Kington Market, May 8

McCartney’s of Kington report a good entry of 1842 sheep.

Hoggets – Organisers had a good trade of 1206 hoggets on the week which would be some 10ppk dearer than other centres this week.

Meat is still very much king and there is a significant difference between good meated sheep and leaner sorts. The leaner sorts would be difficult to sell to the buyers.

The heavier hoggets over 47kg were a much better trade than previous weeks with heavy hoggets selling to £105.50 with most of the hoggets over 47kg selling to £100 and above.

The medium weight hoggets between 39kg and 46kg would be a good trade selling to £100.20 per head or £225ppk. Teeth are now starting to erupt so keep a careful eye on them.

Top price per head for hoggets was £105.50 per head for 51kg hoggets from PR Dawes. The buyers are requiring good meated hoggets for their orders but not fat.

Hoggets were generally selling between £2 to 2.25ppk for hoggets up to 47kg. The heavier hoggets over 47kg would generally sell between £2 to £2.15ppk.

All hoggets at Kington averaged good trade of 2.10ppk and up to 2.25ppk.

Hoggets between 32kg and 39kg averaged 2ppk up to 2.15ppk.

Hoggets between 39.5kg and 45.5kg averaged 2.12ppk up to 2.25ppk. Hoggets between 46kg and 52kg averaged 2ppk up to 2.15ppk. Hoggets over 52kg averaged 1.75ppk up to 1.92ppk.

Hoggets with teeth up averaged £77 per head up to £87 per head.

Spring lambs – Organisers had a good entry of 235 spring lambs which sold to a good trade and again some 10ppk dearer than earlier in the week. Spring lambs averaged 2.46ppk up to 2.53ppk.

The spring lambs sold to £106 per head from A Davies and Sons.

Organisers are fortunate to have excellent buyer support from six buyers giving excellent competition for the hoggets and spring lambs. Cull ewes, tups, wethers, store lambs and inlamb ewes – there was a good entry of 401 cull and store sheep selling to a strong trade again on the week with excellent competition from the buyers. The cull trade would be a strong trade on all sorts with good competition. Organisers have five excellent buyers in attendance and good competition between them.

The ewes sold to a top of £101 for some suffolk ewes from Whitewall Farm and all the ewes averaged an excellent £78 per head with many hill and thin ewes forward. Tups and wethers sold to a good trade up to £115 and averaged £89.

Ungraded hoggets also sold to a good trade up to £88 and to average £56 per head. Organisers hold a weekly sale of the small hoggets specifically for the ethnic trade which is proving very successful. The cull ewes included a large proportion of thinner mule ewes and smaller hill ewes.

Organisers have buyers for in excess of 3,000 hoggets and 750 cull sheep per week to meet buyers’ requirements.

Hay Market, May 8

Several compliments paid about the quality of lambs on offer at Hay.

Five purchasers present representing High Street and wholesalers, making for excellent competition throughout the sale. Top price of £105 (42.5kg) from Messrs Price and Rogers, Lower Skynlais, with several stronger lambs over £100. Top price per kilo to Messrs Winter, Mountain View at 251.4p (35kg £88) with Dean Lloyd, New Barns very close at 251.3 (39kg £98) with Price and Rogers next at 250 pence. Bulk of the lambs on offer averaged over £96 per head.

Few hoggetts still forward selling to £92 from Messrs Davies, Penrheol and generally from £80 to £90.

Talgarth Market, May 9

1,282 sheep, 950 prime hoggets: Another excellent entry of hoggetts for the time of year sold to a fantastic trade with the 39-46kg averaging 214p/kg topping at 237p/kg for a pen of 42kg from Mr MAT Skyme, The Whittern. Those best meated hoggs were all in excess of 215p/kg. Heavier were also in terrific demand topping at £101/ head for 56kg lambs from Mr WJ Francis, Goitre Coed. Organisers envisage another strong trade next week before firms turn to spring lambs. 45 spring lambs: A nice entry sold to a trade as strong as anywhere averaging 240p/kg topping at £103.50/hd for lambs from DR Pugh, Crickie. Organisers now require more spring lambs on a weekly basis; firms are beginning to turn over to new seasons. More new seasons needed.

318 cull ewes and rams: Another terrific entry of cull ewes sold to a wonderful trade topping at £130/ hd for a ram from T R Lloyd, Lower Lundy and £115.50 for ewes from I L J Havard, Penwern. The ewes averaged a surperb £73.39/hd which is a clear indication of the trade. Today’s trade would be as dear anywhere. Rams averaged £90/hd.

Ross Market, May 12

160 finished cattle, 120 clean cattle, 40 cull cows. An improved entry of cattle sold to a similar trade.

Deadweight outlets again reduced their quotations with several around the 320p mark. That is if you can get the cattle in. Again best cattle sold to advantage with plenty from 220-229 pence.

The biggest problem would be overfat heifers which are proving difficult to sell. There were ten buyers in attendance which shows there is demand albeit at a price.

803 spring lambs. A larger entry of lambs sold to a strong trade throughout. It was good to see the return of a northern buyer which certainly improved the trade on the better lambs. Handy weight export type lambs were in short supply and many more are needed to cater for current demand. Several lambs could have been sold for more money weeks ago so please watch your weights! The overall average price of lambs was £98 per head, average weight 40.5 kilos.

1,334 hoggets.

An improved entry of hoggets sold to an improved trade throughout.

Numbers are drying up on a national basis and trade is holding up well. Better hoggets sold to 222 pence with heavier hoggets to £104.

408 cull ewes and rams. An increased entry of ewes met a continued good trade. No top quality continental ewes forward leaving suffolks selling to the top price of £107. Considering the large number of overfat, small and plain ewes present the overall average of £80.20 was quite satisfactory.

First quality ewes sold from £95.

Second quality sold from £70.

Small and plain ewes sold to this figure. A short entry of rams also met a good trade to average £93.50.

Goats sold to £60.

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