AS I mentioned last month over the last year, the livestock markets across the UK have adapted, and they continue to be a major part of farmers’ day to day lives and part of keeping their businesses operating.

The recent pedigree sales featured the Dorset Sheep Society’s Spring Stars sale attracted a good quality genetic entry , with just over 70 lots going under the hammer. The sale was supported by consignors from many areas of Scotland, Pembrokeshire, Derbyshire, Norfolk and Northern Ireland. Topping the sale with a joint price of 2000gns were a pair of lamb rams. The first of these sold by David Lewis from Pembroke, the second from Thomas Wright of County Antrim, Northern Ireland.

Our online timed auction on behalf of the Longhorn Cattle Society saw a catalogue of 50 entries from breeders from all three of the UK’s nations. Scooping the headlines was Gupworthy Spinach, a three- year-old bull sold by Messrs Woollatt of Gwent which sold for 3200gns.

We continue to see increasing interest from both cattle and sheep breeders for us to carry out more Online Timed Auctions later in the year. For some breed societies, particularly those with registrations under a certain volume and with breeders scattered across the UK, this new technology and method of selling allows them to market their livestock to a much wider audience.

The regular Online Machinery & Implement sales are attracting increasing numbers of entries and noticeably better quality items, which in return is resulting in achieving a better prices for our customers.

As was evident at the recent Border & Lakeland Club monthly sale, the dairy sector is continuing to see positive results. As this sale the overall average leveled out at £2,016 with 35 animals (50 percent of the sale), selling for or more than £2000 per head. During March and into early April over 600 head of dairy cattle have gone through the H&H sale ring, and the sales calendar has recently seen a surge of new sales being scheduled to take place over the next six months.

The end of March and into April is usually all-hands on deck helping in lambing sheds across the country, until the recent cold snap this year, the weather has been relatively kind and the days are staying sunny and dry. The first of the new season lambs have now come onto the market and at their Easter show and sale held at the end of March our Kirkby Stephen mart has seen a top price of 389.5p.

As we look forward to May’s upcoming three continuous weeks of selling some of the country’s top-quality bulls from all over the UK and Northern Ireland, our pedigree office team are busy with the sale preparation work.

A new sale to feature in the sales calendar later this year is a Hi-Health beef breeding female sale which is open to all commercial producers who are within a recognised herd health scheme. This will be a great opportunity for pedigree and commercial breeders to buy with confidence replacement stock to go direct into their herds.