THE early pedigree breeding sheep sales have started on a high and long may it last! Only a few weeks ago many breeders were asking – “what do you think the autumn sheep sales are going to be like this year”?. A question which is asked annually.

Numbers seen at the early sales was been similar or higher on the year with a positive confidence in prices and trade throughout. This is certainly a relief for many producers.Some of the highlights seen at the early sales saw Suffolks selling to a top price of 2900gns for a lamb ram from Border’s breeder Brydon Nicolson. The following day included Zwartbles topping at 1900gns for a gimmer shown by Dunblane breeders Messrs MacLaren & Baird.We had the delights of the 'Cutest Sheep in the World' the Valais Blacknose making an appearance with a consignment coming over from Ireland’s Beattie flock. Heading up the sale was a ewe and her lamb selling for 6500gns.

We continue to work under the very strict guidelines of Covid-19 regulations whilst conducting the sales and have in operation the facility to scan a QR code for all potential purchasers attending the sales to register quickly and efficiently.

To help ease the situation of the number of sales which have historically taken place on one day, we have spread the load, so some sale days are now being completed over 2 or 3 day which is allowing purchasers to attend only on the specific day they wish to make a purchase.

One of the major sale weeks in our calendar is the three-day event of Beltex rams and females and this year we attracted another great entry of 1535 head. Topping the sales at 45,000gns was a lamb ram, Matts Flash Harry sold by regular consignor Matthew Burleigh from Northern Ireland.WThe Two other society sheep breed sales which have occurred are the annual Bleu du Maine and Rouge sales, with the Bleu Du Maine topping at 2000gns and the Rouge at 1600gns.

In August we have switched back to the regular dairy cattle sales and the weekly calf sales now selling on a Wednesday. Another major change is setting up a sale ring within our Exhibition Hall, to be used mainly for the pedigree livestock sales, which allows us to cater for breeders to attend the sales and maintain distance safely.

The Dairy Sales continue to be encouraging for all producers and we have seen new customers both vendors and purchasers coming from all round the UK. The live stream bidding facility is proving to be especially successful for the dairy customers as it them to bid from home. At the conclusion of the sales we assist in organising transport arrangements.

Through these challenging times we have thought long and hard about whether it would be possible for the Borderway Agri Expo showcase to go ahead this year and we have tried our hardest to come up with solutions which would adhere to the government guidelines. We now look forward to 2021 and have scheduled in the diary for Friday, October 29.