The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire)
‘Future farm plans lack engineering’
The biggest ram sale of the season so far saw 665 Beltex of all ages traded over two days at Carlisle.
Auctioneer Harrison and Hetherington also sold 187 females at the sale, which attracted buyers from the UK and Ireland.
The numbers sold failed to match the 1,354 entered in the catalogue. The averages were 505 shearlings at £879.39, down £32.24 on 2012; 150 ram lambs at £1,061.13, up £104.66; 10 aged rams at £1,879.50, up £734.05; 187 gimmers at £580.21, down £74.71.
Top trade at 16,000gn was Ardstewart Super Mario, a shearling by Broughton Pound Stretcher and out of an Ardstewart Pumkin Head ewe, fromWade and Alison McCrabbe, of Ardstewart, Raphoe, Co Donegal, Ireland. He was shared by three breeders – James McGarva, of Horseclose, Cummertrees, Annan; Neale and Janet McQuistin, of High Airyolland, Newluce, NewtonStewart, andKevin and Rachel Buckle, of Barras, Kirkby Stephen.
The Crabbes were in the money again moments later as Ardstewart Swagger Jagger, got by the same breeding, made 10,000gn to P. Slater, of Dandy Farm, Adlington, Cheshire.
At 12,000gn was Burnside Scooby Doo, a shearling imported as a lamb by T.J. Palmer, of Dickeystown Road, Glenarm, Co Antrim. Scooby Doo was shared by Paul Tippets, of Lodge Hill, Shifnal, Shropshire, and James Collinge, of Whitehill Cottage, Middlebie, Lockerbie. Padkin Sugar Daddy, a shearling son of Callacrag Rocky and Albierigg Mad Max ewe, made 9,000gn. Jim Young, of Muirton, Corse, Alford; Ross and Kirsty Williams, of Upper Tullochbeg, Huntly, and Mary Dunlop, of Corstane, Broughton, Biggar, shared the ram, which won the reserve male championship for Padkin Beltex, of Drumcork, Thornhill, Dumfries.
Orkney breeders Alton andVera Coplandandtheir son, Charles, of Overhouse, Harray; RaymondFlaws, of Nisthouse, Evie, and the Browns, ofNewhall, Stromness, partnered with Colin Mair, of Muirfield, Everton, Auchry, in sharing the 7,000gn cost of Artnagullion Top Dog, a ram lamb byWoodies Snoop Dog and out of a ewe by Artnagul- lion Mika, from Elizabeth McAllister, of Parkgate Road, Kells, Ballymena, Co Antrim. The ram was reserve breed champion at the Royal Ulster Show.
Mur r ay Mun r o , of Runachloie, Gruids, Lairg, bid to 6,500gn to get Ardstewart Sony, another shearling by Broughton Pound Stretcher, from the McCrabbes.
Richard Wood, of Hopehead, Kingledores, Broughton, Biggar, joined Dyce firefighter and Beltex breeder Stuart Wood, of Woolhillock, Skene, in the 5,500gn purchase of Glenkeen Sanders, a shearling by Topflite Real Deal, from Fergus Harbinson, of Rings End Road, Limavady, Co Londonderry.
Richard Wood sold at 4,200gn to the Fox family, of Akeldsteads House, Wooler, the ram lamb Kingledores Trojan, a Damian V/D Drie Musschen son.
Stuart Wood’s best trade wasat 4,000gn for Woodies Super Hero, a shearling by Kingledores Rascal. He was bought by Mr Slater.
Alice Shanks, of Bowmanhurst, Brownlee Estate, Carluke, received 3,500gn for the two-shear ram, Ardstewart Paparazzi, by CastlemeadowNajinsky. Her late husband, Gavin, who died in April, pioneered the Beltex breed in the UK. She is keeping his flock rather than dispersing it.
Females sold to 5,500gn for Kingledores Sapphire, a Clary Prankster- sired gimmer which was reserve f emale champion f or Richard Wood. Buyer was Paul Tippets. through restoring lost links betweenbasic researchand applied science.
Government sees it as a means of making the UK a world leader in the field of agricultural technology to secure supplies of affordable food for future generations.
But Mr Lane-Nott said the importance of farm equipment in achieving goal that appeared to have been overlooked. The sector was also not represented on the leadership council charged with delivering the strategy.
“The fact that farm equipment was given, a couple of small paragraphs (in the strategy) was verging on insulting to an industry that has a turnover of nearly £4billion in UK and is a fundamental part of agricultural production,” a statement from the AEA added.
Mr Lane-Nott said there was still a long way to go before engineering for agriculture was properly recognised in the UK.
He did welcome the government’s plan to establish a centre of agricultural engineering, but said it was important the engineering organisations were central in its creation and operation.
Mr Kibblewhite said the strategy was a step in the right direction, but added the most urgent issue was in translating existing and emergentscience into practical tools and processes for farmers.
He added: “The balance of the strategy appears too weighted to supporting new science rather than its technological translation and this is disappointing.
“It should be doing even moreto increase the opportunities for engineers to bring their knowledge and skills to agriculture and bring this sector into the mainstream of UK engineering, while recognising the distinct role of the agricultural engineering discipline itself.”