AS we move into 2021, no-one would have thought we would still be in a lockdown situation at the start of another year!! writes Farmer columnist, Heather Pritchard.

Looking back and reflecting on the livestock markets as to how they have adapted to the change of selling for their customers has been truly remarkable.

All those involved need to be congratulated on this story of adaptation success and digital evolution.

We continue to operate the live ring selling system across our centers and have adopted a policy of all sales now being operated under a strict drop and go system until such time Covid-19 regulations are eased.

With a Trade Deal under our belt, the year started with the usual run of in-lamb sales for the Border Leicester’s and Bluefaced Leicesters. These sales saw a top price of 1600gns for the Borders and 9000gns for the Bluefaced Leicester’s. A few Texel breeders also held sale of in lamb sheep and the headline price was 4200gns.

The early season pedigree beef sales will start next week, when when we will see 35 British Blues and nearly 200 Limousins going under the hammer.

We continue to utilise our Live Stream Bidding platform for many sales and the dairy sector is one category which enables buyers from far afield to bid for cattle without leaving the farm.

The recent dairy sales through Borderway have remained strong with total clearance of stock prevailing. Looking forward to the coming weeks, trade is looking as if it will remain on a similar positive basis.

Our UK Dairy Expo is one of the major events which has been postponed and we are hoping that this will still be able to take place later in the year, depending on Government advice and regulations.

Once again, the wet is not on the side of the farmer and is preventing the early season work on the land. I very much hope we will see an end the current wet weather cycle in the not too distance future.

Looking forward, our calendar of sales is arranged and are available for everyone to view through our website at New sales are already in the pipeline and dates will be announced as soon as the details are available.

I cannot dismiss the continual guidelines we have to continually observe whilst we operate the sales throughout all the centres.

At present these will continue to be with us, and we thank all customers for their cooperation and helping work with us to keep the livestock markets open.

Until next month, continue to stay safe.