AS restrictions begin to relax for some around the country, David Bowman senior Auctioneer at Hopes Auction Wigton reflects on the past few weeks and trading through the COVID pandemic.

“Following guidance from official channels and the LAA we took the decision that despite COVID-19 as long as our staff were kept safe, Hope’s Auction Company should continue to provide a live auction for our clients.

To that end we have conducted a live sale each week for all classes of livestock alongside farm to farm sales for those clients not wishing to attend.”

The company wish to thank the staff for their hard work and commitment through this difficult period, as well as acknowledging the professional and understanding way in which customers have followed the guidance which we have had to put in place to continue to trade through this period.

We have seen strong trades for all classes of stock with this past week breeding sheep to £300 per life for a two shear Beltex and lamb, Beltex hoggs and lambs to £300, calves to £550 for British Blue stirks, dairy cattle to £2,200 for a 36kg commercial Holstein heifer, prime lambs to £300, prime cattle to over £1,700 and store cattle to £1385.

These returns achieved for our customers show that the live ring remains the most effective way to market stock.

Our annual grass letting auction unfortunately was curtailed at short notice due to the restrictions put in place, but all land has been let effectively with averages maintained very much in line with previous returns.

We continue to operate under the restrictions placed upon us by COVID-19 and ask all purchasers to respect and maintain social distancing.

The relaxation of rules has allowed the commencement of sales of breeding stock and we look forward to trading cows and calves throughout the summer starting on the 28th May.

As lockdown progresses, we can only hope that restrictions continue to be eased as the early sheep sales at the end of July will soon be with us.

We will continue to provide our clients with a live ring and would like to thank our clients who have placed their stock with us and experienced their rewards.”

With over 120 years’ experience serving the agricultural community, Hope’s Auction Co Ltd has generations of industry expertise to help provide the right solution to the needs of our clients. The company was established on May 3 1897 by a group of local Wigton men led by William Hope, who later became Managing Director and Chairman of the company for 25 years – and Hope’s is to this day still controlled by a Board of Directors made up of farmers and business people, who are dedicated to providing livestock produced with the very best marketing service backed by guaranteed payment.

The original auction site occupied the area where the Church Street carpark is now situated and provided a modern way to market prime cattle. In the mid-sixties bigger premises were required and the move to the High Street site occurred as stock numbers increased. Now over 120 years since the company origins, our new site at Syke Road provides unparalleled facilities that meet the changing practicalities of modern agriculture and the requirements of livestock production, together with the ability to achieve competitive pricing for all classes of stock.