LIVESTOCK sales conducted by the firm at Talgarth Market and the member firm of Herefordshire Auctioneers saw steadily increasing values and numbers of livestock forward in a year best summarised as “up horn, down corn”.

During the year, the firm conducted highly successful sales of potato, general farm machinery and equipment on its sites at Madley and Woofferton and an outstanding dispersal sale in May at Upper Wintercott Farm including a noted record for a Massey Ferguson 178 tractor purchased in 1968 which sold for £11,800.

Altogether some 600 lots achieved nearly £500,000. We look forward to an interesting sale of specialist potato equipment at Madley on February 13.

The firm traded English Entitlements for Single Farm Payment at 1 to 1.1 times value and strong demand for Welsh High Value Entitlements at up 2.5 times value.

In the summer the annual onfarm round of straw auctions saw some 3,000 acres lying on Herefordshire farms attracting a strong trade with winter wheat straw averaging £52 per acre and winter barley £67 per acre.

On the rural property front the firm continued to offer and sell by public auction, private treaty and tender many interesting lots of agricultural property.

Arable and pasture accommodation land met a firm demand throughout the year, with notable sales at Yarkhill, Dorstone, Ewyas Harold and other areas throughout Herefordshire, small parcels of land trading up to £10,000-plus per acre and even larger parcels attracting bids in the £7,000 to £8,500 per acre bracket.

Scarcity of good quality land in Herefordshire on the market and a strong underlying demand from both farmers and external investors is likely to see this trend continue into 2010.

Notable sales included Hill Farm, Abbeydore, with 81 acres at £1.3 million. Small parcels of woodland also found interest and keen market in the region of £6,000 per acre.

The firm was also actively involved in advising and acquiring, on behalf of clients, farms and estates throughout the year.

The agricultural department was particularly busy with Single Farm Payment applications, Entry Level Stewardship Schemes, advice on the new Upland Stewardship Scheme starting in July 2010, plus completing the Transco pipeline compensation claims and dealing with water, electricity, gas and telecommunication mast matters.

Specialist arable crops to let in Herefordshire saw keen demand for potato land, baker and packing quality on good Grade I or II land with irrigation facilities up to £500 per acre and land suitable for maize cropping £145 per acre. Whole crop standing maize saw prices in the region of £350 per acre.

A new innovation this year was our inaugural sale of working sheepdogs, seeing an excellent clearance to an overall average of 630 guineas and a top price of 2,152 guineas. Further sales are planned for June 5 and September 18 at Hay-on-Wye.

The firm also conducts sales of horses, ponies, registered Welsh ponies and cobs at Talgarth and is also introducing a new organic cattle sale at Talgarth on March 9.

For further details, contact David Thompson on 01432 278888 or email d.thompson@