Darlington Farmers Auction Mart held their annual ‘Junior Farmers Overwintering Competition’ in conjunction with their weekly sale of Cast Cattle, Store and Breeding Stock. Forward were 537 Cattle and 129 Sheep.
100 Cast Cows & OTM sold to 218ppk or £1958
4 Stock Bulls sold to 168ppk or £1626
59 Young Bulls sold to £1160
139 Store Steers sold to 1400
178 Store Heifers sold to £1450
47 Dairy Heifers sold to £1180
4 Cows & Calves sold to £1900
2 Calves sold to £230
83 Store Sheep sold to £130
18 Ewes with Lambs at Foot sold to £240
Junior Farmers – The future of farming in the North East remains in the safest of hands, credit certainly goes to all of our young entrepreneurs as the 29 beast turned out by 17 budding enthusiasts accumulated a marvellous £10,000 between them with every lot forward comfortably leaving profit. The wild wind blew the A66 to a standstill and so too unfortunately the progress of our judge Mr James Chrichton of Egremont, so at the drop of a hat (and a twist of an arm) the duties were assigned to the very capable expertise of our company Chairman Mark Dent. The champion on the day went to an absolutely beautiful black heifer brought out to perfection by Harry Willey of Chopwell, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne; the superb British Blue cross was purchased from the Sanderson family of East Holling Carr Farm, Trimdon at the end of November and today she looked a worthy winner and duly sold for the top price of £1450; the buyer a certain Mr Chrichton of Egremont arriving in time for the business end and agreeing wholeheartedly with his understudy’s earlier choice. The reserve champion also travelled from the North as Hayley Mitchell’s lovely red Limousin heifer down from Morpeth shone bright in the days strongest class of 12 and subsequently went on to take the blue and white ribbon, she was an astute purchase from the Dent Family of Northfield Farms back at the October suckled calf sale. The aforementioned pairing along with an immaculate heifer from Sarah Willey also of Chopwell then went on to claim the healthy prize funds offered for the presentation as the three of them and also the Askwith boys of Crook had most certainly put the hard yards in prior to the sale. The hardest man to beat most years at the profit making game is Jack Barker of Little Ketton; not for the first time he landed the winners prize, on this occasion with a huge Shorthorn steer bought for £800 in November and selling today for a mighty £1380 as amazingly 5 cattle today returned £500 or more.
Class 1 – Best Steer from a vendor aged 8-15yrs sponsored by Chaplynn’s Country Stores (£20/£15/£10/£5)
1st Charlie Askwith, Middle Mown Meadows
2nd Harry Askwith, Middle Mown Meadows
3rd Anna Herbert, West Shaws
4th Anna Herbert, West Shaws
Class 2 – Best Steer from a vendor aged 16-21yrs sponsored by Chaplynn’s Country Stores(£20/£15/£10)
1st Elliot Grieves, Oakdene
2nd Georgina Harrison, North Way
3rd Georgina Harrison, North Way
Class 3 – Best Steer from a vendor aged 22-29yrs sponsored by Chaplynn’s Country Stores (£20/£15/£10/£5)
1st Jonathan Fletcher, Edder Ackes
2nd David Herbert, West Shaws
3rd David Herbert, West Shaws
4th Jonathan Fletcher, Edder Ackes
Class 4 – Best Heifer from a vendor aged 8-15yrs sponsored by Vickers & Barrass (£20/£15/£10/£5)
1st Harry Willey, Broomfield Farm
2nd Sarah Willey, Broomfield Farm
3rd Arron Armstrong, Ashbourne Drive
4th Sarah Willey, Broomfield Farm
Class 5 – Best Heifer from a vendor aged 22-29yrs sponsored by Vickers & Barrass (£20/£15/£10/£5)
1st Hayley Mitchell, Howlett Hall
2nd Rebecca Wilson, Constantine Farm
3rd Emma Watson, East Thorn Farm
4th James Gilson, Heugh Farm
Class 6 – Best Showmanship and Presentation sponsored by Brockhills of Yorkshire (£150/£100/£50)
3rd Hayley Mitchell, Howlett Hall
Show Champion sponsored by Eden Farm Supplies (£100)
Winner of Class 4 from Harry Willey, Broomfield Farm
Reserve Champion sponsored by Eden Farm Supplies (£50)
Winner of Class 5 from Hayley Mitchell, Howlett Hall
Greatest Profit on purchase to sale sponsored by W E Jameson & Son (£100)
Jack Barker, Little Ketton achieving £580 from purchase to sale
Other worthy mentions in the profit race were as follows:
Sarah Willey, Broomfield Farm £565
Harry Willey, Broomfield Farm £560
Arron Armstrong, Ashbourne Drive £530
Jack Barker, Little Ketton £520
Elliot Grieves, Oakdene £515
James Gilson, Heugh Farm £490
Emma Watson, East Thorn £455
Store Cattle – Beyond the heroics of our junior farmers our more senior vendors too were certainly enjoying a blistering store beast trade, a larger show forward were once again an absolute flyer. No room for thriftiness at ringside as the bidding is both fast and furious, comfortably one of the best periods for selling store cattle we have seen for many, many years, possibly ever. Remarkably today 9 steers and a further 9 heifers sold the top side of £1300 and a whole host of stronger cattle climbing in to the £1100-£1300 bracket, the smart young grazers are now all £800-£1000 with the pick of them easily over four figures with increasing regularity and the young bulls are also flying high with a top price of £1160 shared twice on the day. A genuine reduction of Friesian heifers from G Swinbank & Sons of Breckon Hill, Sedgefield were easily sold peaking at £1180 for a strong trio with a further quintet reaching £1150.
Calves £240 £230 G Simpson.
Cows & Calves £1900 £1550 W&JM Clifford. £1200 T Ripley. £1020 GA Swinbank.
Bulling Heifers £1180x3 £1150x5 £1050x3 £1010x2 £990x2 £980x2 £955x2 £940x2 £900x4 £880x4 £850x4 £800x8 G Swinbank & Sons.
Store Bulls £1160 £1120 £1005 £955 £940 RL Walker. £1160 £840 RW Raper & Sons. £1060 CT Gibson. £1045 T Ducker. £1025x2 £1005x2 £975x2 £945x2 W Chrystal & Partners. £1010x2 £900x3 E Parsons. £990x2 GS Dixon. £930 £910x2 £900 £860 JW Richardson. £920x4 £850x2 £820x2 Starfitts Farm. £875 £830x2 BJS Farms. £870 W Love Ltd.
Store Steers £1400 £1380 Jack Barker. £1380x3 £1250x3 Longlane Farming. £1390 £1280 JG Wilkinson & Son. £1330 £1280 £1210 £1160 I Oliver. £1320 Elliot Grieves. £1300 £1260 D Herbert. £1290x3 R&W Todd. £1270x2 £1210 £1180 Wilsons. £1250 J Fletcher. £1250 £1170 JW Richardson. £1200x2 £1160 £1140 CT Gibson. £1175x2 £1135x8 £1120 DN Gardner. £1155 £1150 M Metcalfe. £1150 £1105x2 JH&C Ltd Oulton. £1150 C Leighton. £1145 K James. £1120 Anna Herbert.
Store Heifers £1450 Harry Willey. £1450 Sarah Willey. £1400 Aaron Armstrong. £1370 I Newton & Son. £1345x2 £1300 £1180 Wilsons. £1340 £1180 Emma Watson. £1300 £1210 Hayley Mitchell. £1285 £1265x2 DW Dresser. £1280 £1100 James Gilson. £1250 £1195 £1160 £1140 BJS Farms. £1250 £1200 £1180 JG Wilkinson & Son. £1240 I Oliver. £1235 K James. £1210x4 £1160 £1120x5 High Hedley Hope Farm Ltd. £1190 £1110 Alex Wilson. £1160 Rebecca Wilson. £1150 N Basey & Son. £1135 A&AG Moralee.
Cast Cattle – Have the BBC reported that cow beef will cure Covid-19? We do know that isn’t true but looking at the trade today one could be forgiven for wondering, a tremendous show averaged an almost ridiculous 155 pence per kilo and £1071, the highest gross value average ever seen at DFAM as the cow ring goes from strength to strength. The pick of some superstars today came from the good home of J E Jordon & Son, The Brocks, Longhirst as an unbelievable 10 year old Limousin bent the needle around to 999kg and amassed a value of £1958, the Longhirst firm with a quartet averaging beyond £1600 as there turned out to be 11 cattle beyond £1500 and an equally impressive 11 topped 190ppk with 4 of those breaking 200 pence. Not all about the continentals as a Sussex cow reached £1561 and Aberdeen Angus sold to £1531 whilst the best of those escaping the clusters was a Flekvieh from High Hedley Hope Farm at £1229. The best of the bulls this week a well fleshed Aberdeen Angus from the Heathcote’s of Forcett Hall at £1626.
Cast Cows – Top prices ppk 218 184x2 179 BJ Thomas. 208 201 196 185 JE Jordon & Son. 200 188 A&MJ Henshaw. 196 192 172 167 Oakwood Farms. 196 166 S&J Dent & Son. 194 188 181 F&R Simpson. 188 J Archer. 186 JJ Dowson & Son. 186 B Kenny. 180x2 178 High Hedley Hope Farm Ltd. 178 Jack Henshaw. 178 RL Walker. 175 F&R Simpson. 175 MA Bainbridge. 175 TF Bothroyd & Son. 170 JF Harland. 169 158 JJ Dowson & Son. 165 M Jopling & Son. 160 Messrs Reed & Hill. 160 SC Barron.
Lead Grossing Cast Cows £1958 £1612 £1528 £1337 JE Jordon & Son. £1626 £1561 £1549 £1531 BJ Thomas. £1540 £1316 S&J Dent. £1538 £1500 £1305 £1260 F&R Simpson. £1463 £1455 £1452 £1414 £1174 £1138 Oakwood Farms. £1413 RL Walker. £1411 RN Foord. £1404 £1350 A&MJ Henshaw. £1326 £1126 TF Bothroyd & Son. £1324 JE Holliday & Son. £1305 Messrs Reed & Hill. £1269 Jack Henshaw. £1229 £1124 High Hedley Hope Farm Ltd. £1136 M Jopling & Son.
Cast Bulls – Top prices ppk 168 High Hedley Hope Farm Ltd. 156 C Newcomb. 153 A&W Heathcote.
Lead Grossing Cast Bulls £1626 A&W Heathcote. £1150High Hedley Hope Farm Ltd. £950 C Newcomb.
Store & Breeding Sheep – No mercy for the sheep buyers, even as we run the spatula around the very bottom of the store sheep bowl there are numerous willing bidders and nothing short of remarkable returns. Top price a trio of Texel’s from H Thompson of Coatham Lane reached £130 and perhaps the trade of the day 35 sharp Swaledale hoggs from J & E M Lawson, Harpington Hill selling for a massive £98 per head. A scattering of ewes and lambs from G Simpson of Orchard Farm peaked at £100 per life of £240 for a ewe with twins.
Store Hoggs £130 £106 H Thompson. £117 £99 £92 £84 C Watson. £112 £109 P Langstaff. £98 J&EM Lawson. £98 E Walsh. £92 D&P Heppel. £90 £84 £72 M Eagle.
Ewes & Lambs £240 £200 £170 £145 £130 £122 G Simpson.
Feeding Ewes £91 £81 M Radford. £79 E Walsh.