Kentish Express Ashford & District - - COUNTRYFILE -

Fin­ished hoggets - 4,543 sold A big en­try met a strong trade through­out with over­all av­er­ages com­par­ing favourably with na­tional fig­ures. De­spite this large en­try, prices held up well to the end of the sale with buy­ers com­pet­ing strongly in an at­tempt to ful­fil or­ders. While the small num­ber of light­weight hoggets (36-38kg) sold at­tracted prices around the £45 mark, the ma­jor­ity of the oth­ers sold in the £50£60 bracket and up to £60.20 (140p per kg) for 43kg Texel Crosses from L. Stevens and son. Hogget av­er­ages: light 65 121.88 to 115.25 (116.48, nat ave 110.40); stan­dard 1,171 130.30 to 105.45 (120.72, nat ave 116.30); medium 2,077 140.00 to 100.00 (120.24, nat ave 118.80); heavy 1,018 120.85 to 93.00 (112.88, nat ave 111.00); over-weight 212 112.15 to 69.71 (105.05). Store hoggets and breed­ing sheep - 734 sold An ex­cep­tional trade with a run of 208 Suf­folk Cross mules from H.J. Hecks and son top­ping at £49.10 (ave £45.44); Cross­breds to £45.20 from I. Hob­den; and rel­a­tively small Texel Crosses look­ing very well sold at £44 from A.Sher­azee. Cull ewes and rams - 595 sold De­spite the re­duced num­bers there was no im­prove­ment in the trade and the over­all prices were sim­i­lar to re­cent weeks. Texel Cross ewes took the pick up to £48 from J.and M. Lampshire; Suf­folk Crosses made to £45 from C.and J. Ge­or­getti; Rom­neys to £37 from DJK. Miles and mules to £30.80 from Kerr Farms. Cull ewe: first qual­ity 171 48.00 to 37.00 (40.64); sec­ond qual­ity 270 36.50 to 28.00 (32.80); third qual­ity 124 27.00 to 2.00 (22.00). Rams: 30 48.00 to 3.00 (31.70). Fin­ished cat­tle - 158 steers/heifers and six young bulls sold The strong­est en­try this year with good runs of de­cent cat­tle and very heavy sorts with 14 in­di­vid­ual buy­ers on hand see­ing trade very fair right through and very com­pet­i­tive. Of the 14 buy­ers, seven were look­ing specif­i­cally for un­der-24-month and again th­ese were a sharp de­mand. A 23-month 535kg Li­mousin steer from C.J. Bean and son at 134.5p went to E.C. Wilkes and son (Cran­brook); a 615kg Bel­gian Blue heifer from M.B. Farms 136.5p to An­glo Dutch Meats (Char­ing) and a 675kg steer made 142.5p to the same buyer gross­ing £961 at 20months. In the su­per­mar­ket lines, Mark Scott’s 715kg Sim­men­tal 110.5p; Paul Bur­den’s 775kg Charo­lais 108.5p; and an 870kg Charo­lais from J. Batch­e­lor 102.5p while the lighter sorts were be­tween 110-118p. Lean break­ing up cat­tle also well sold again - P grade Hol­steins to 88.5p and gross­ing to £634 - th­ese must have earned money! Feed­ers and gra­ziers were also look­ing for cat­tle with de­cent steers and heifers to 115p and old plain cat­tle 70-80p to face the OTM trade in the au­tumn. Just a small en­try of bulls with noth­ing out of the top drawer. But heavy­weight 18-month South Devon’s made to 96.5p and Keith Ax­ell’s 16month O plus grade Li­mousin 102.5p. Fin­ished cat­tle av­er­ages, steers: pre­mium 38 134.50 to 108.50 (115.50); av­er­age 41 109.50 to 97.50 (104.00); oth­ers 14 93.50 to 65.50 (81.00). Heifers: pre­mium 27 142.50 to 109.50 (115.50); av­er­age 32 108.50 to 96.50 (103.50); oth­ers 6 96.50 to 79.50 (92.00). Young bulls: first qual­ity 4 102.50 to 89.50 (95.50); third qual­ity 2 69.50 to 46.50 (58.50). Over-30-month cat­tle for the food chain - 34 sold Af­ter 45 years of auc­tion­ing live­stock, Mark Cleve­don is still wait­ing for the trade to let me know if things should be dearer! Plenty of trade for the gra­ziers now - six lean 2004 pure­bred Sus­sex bulls 55-65.5p; 2000 Sus­sex Cross Friesian cows to 67.5p; a very tidy 2003 Li­mousin cow 97.5p; and lean 2004 Sim­men­tal Cross Friesian steers to 79.5p.

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