Kentish Express Ashford & District - - COUNTRYFILE -

Fin­ished hoggets - 3,885 sold

The hogget trade has moved up rapidly dur­ing the last three or four days and fol­low­ing Mon­day’s SQQ of 117p per kg, ven­dors had high hopes of Ash­ford re­peat­ing the trick. Hobs Parker did not let any­body down! The en­try of just un­der 4,000 sheep found all buy­ers keen to get a share and re­turns showed a 3-4p per kg pre­mium on na­tional av­er­ages. Best fleshed stan­dard and medium weights were 120-125p per kg with qual­ity runs from D. and P. Rooke (Buck­ing­hamshire) to 125.5p per kg; 750 sheep from Tim Crick (Nor­folk) with stan­dard weights to 129p per kg and medium weights 128p per kg. Heav­ies also a sharp trade from 100p per kg up­wards and top­ping at £61.20 for a pen of su­perbly shown Tex­els from J. Prior and son (109p per kg.)

Store hoggets and breed­ing sheep - 412 sold

Not quite the fire in the trade de­spite val­ues for the fin­ished ar­ti­cle im­prov­ing - no doubt this mar­ket will now rely on the pro­fes­sional fin­ish­ers while reg­u­lar sheep farm­ers busy them­selves with lamb­ing in very wet con­di­tions. Small healthy lambs £28-£38, stronger sorts £40 to a top of £44.80 for Suf­folk Cross Rom­ney. Sev­eral pens of breed­ing sheep of­fered. Strong con­ti­nen­tals due in two weeks to £49.50 from M. Wor­sam and Suf­folk’s £51 from the same ven­dor.

Cull ewes and rams - 377 sold

Num­bers drop­ping but the meat men no keener than in re­cent weeks and graz­ers un­able to find any grass. Best meated sheep to £46,80 for a pen of 24 strong Suf­folk’s from Aa Trevor and son. The pick of the mules to £33.80 for strong sheep from P. and S. Goodsworth while Rom­ney’s topped at £31.20, lean sheep £10-£25. Cull ewe av­er­ages: first qual­ity 78 46.80 to 32.10 (36.40); sec­ond qual­ity 247 35.40 to 24.10 (28.20); third qual­ity 59 22.10 to 10.50 (16.10). Rams: 13 40.50 to 5.00 (33.20).

Fin­ished cat­tle - 105 steers/heifers and seven young bulls sold

Less cat­tle penned - less money gen­er­ally at base camp for the whole­sal­ing cat­tle but re­tail­ers in full flow for qual­ity un­der 24month-old cat­tle. De­cent young steers were in very short sup­ply, hence only two above 120p. But smart un­der two-year-old heifers were plen­ti­ful and well sup­ported with 12 mak­ing from 122.5p-136.5p. Gerry Smith topped with 20-month home­bred Bel­gian Blue heifer fetch­ing 136.5p and gross­ing £812. Also of­fered was an­other run of six su­perbly matched home­bred Bel­gian Blues and Li­mousins from M.B. Farms, just un­der two years sell­ing to 134.5p (£812) and av­er­ag­ing 127p. In the older cat­tle lines Paul Bur­dens home­bred Charo­lais steers with weight grossed to £833; J. Cas­tle (Stoke) ltd Li­mousin 745kgs at 111.5p (£830); dairy bred cat­tle topped at 110.5p for a very de­cent Sim­men­tal Cross Friesian steer from Dan Mackelden ltd (£756). A short en­try of bulls with use­ful An­gus from P. and A. Love 106.5p (£612 at 13-months); and ad-lib fed Bri­tish Friesian bulls from T. Cas­tle (Petham) to 99.5p gross­ing £606 at 18-months. Av­er­ages steers: pre­mium 21 123.50 to 109.50 (113.00); av­er­age 24 108.50 to 98.50 (104.00); oth­ers 9 95.50 to 81.50 (89.00).

Heifers: pre­mium

23 136.50 to 108.50 (120.00); av­er­age 25 108.50 to 96.50 (103.00); oth­ers 3 89.50 to 67.50 (80.00). Young bulls: first qual­ity 2 106.50 to 105.50 (106.00); sec­ond qual­ity 5 99.50 to 91.50 (95.50). Over-30-month cat­tle for the food chain - 45 sold Num­bers hold­ing up well de­spite re­ports that the over­all sup­ply is short. Cows were a sim­i­lar trade to re­cent weeks while ma­ture bulls def­i­nitely jumped in value. A 1998 Sim­men­tal from DW. Fer­gu­son 710kgs at 78.5p, and a 2001 cow 83.5p. John Ber­ry­man’s calved Sim­men­tal 83.5p and cows 77.5p, while in the dairy lines 2001 Hol­stein/Friesians from Force Green Farms 77.5p and gross­ing to £670 and a 2000 Hol­stein from W.S. Fur­ni­val (Hon­ey­child) ltd at 73.5p (£576). Leaned meated Black and Whites ranged from 50-65p and very plain 35-45p. Hereford steers in good nick sold to 79.5p; Li­mousin heifers 83.5p and Sus­sex steers to graze 73.5p. Two ma­ture bulls sold, a 1997 Sim­men­tal in work­ing clothes 58.5p (£623) and a 2002 Hereford in best bib and gaiters 69.5p (£674).

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