BUYERS representing all sectors - retail butchers, farm shops and wholesalers - again competed for the quality primestock on offer at Skipton Auction Mart’s latest Monday sale.

Another massive turnout of over 4,000 prime sheep saw the 3,148 Spring lambs, an increase of over 500 head on the previous week, sell to an overall average of £90.47 per head, or a solid 219.7p/kg.

Plenty of three-figure per head prices were achieved, peaking at £142 for Texels from JM Hall in Airton, claimed by Brayton Farm Shop, Selby, while the leading per kilo price of 298p fell to six Beltex-cross lambs from the Critichley family in Hutton, , purchased by Hartshead Meat Co in Mossley.

Both top price buyers made further purchases, joined by others including Robertshaw’s Farm Shop in Thornton, Skipton-based Keelhan Farm Shop, Kendalls Farm Butchers in Harrogate and Pateley Bridge, and Vivers Scotlamb in Annan.

The 1,047 cast sheep and hoggs sold to a strong trade, with heavy ewes dearer on the week, plenty making £115-plus, to a top of £132.50 for Beltex from John Midgley in Luddendenfoot. Cull ewes averaged £61.90 and cast rams £79.27, with a number of goats among the mix selling to £89.50.

Two of 17 under 30-month prime cattle on offer topped 250p/kg, peaking at 258.5p/kg for a handyweight Limousin heifer from David Bailey, of Long Lee, followed at 257.5p/kg for another Limousin heifer from the Critchley family. Both fell to George Cropper Jnr for his Sandersons Butchers in Baxenden.

The mart-based Barkers Yorkshire Butchers purchased the top price per head Limousin bullock from Threshfield’s Charles and Richard Kitching at £1,389, the same vendors also responsible for the second highest gross, a British Blue heifer that became one of five cattle bought by Robertshaws Farm Shop. Third in line at £1,364 were the Smith family from Westhouse with a Limousin steer making up one of four purchases by Keelham Farm Shop.

Solid trade for 16 cull cows produced a leading black and white gross price of £1,128 from Martyn Jennings in Cowling, another dairy from JK Blackburn & Sons in Storiths topping the per kilo prices at 139.5p. Top gross of £1,236 fell to a beef-bred Limousin from the Jowett family in Queensbury. The overall selling average was £848.91 per head, or 125.6p/kg, another solid rise on the week.

Rearing calves looked dearer on the week, the 40 head again in demand by multiple purchasers and selling to a top of £465 for a British Blue-cross bull from RE Ayrton in Eastby.