Curtain falls on 2017 Craven Dairy Auction year The final Craven Dairy Auction of 2017 produced another championship win, their fifth of the year, for Brian and Judith Moorhouse, who run the Aireburn pedigree herd at Hesper Farm, Bell Busk. (Mon, Dec 18) The couple claimed another title with their first prize newly calven heifer, Aireburn Baloo Miss America, by the Genus sire, Sahara Baloo. The 14 days calved 27-litre heifer sold for £1,650 to the Clarke family in Hampsthwaite.

Robert Crisp, of Nelson Farm, Calton, who has clinched four dairy titles this year, was again to the fore with the second prize newly calven heifer and reserve champion, like most of his previous victors by a son of the late, great Genus dairy sire, PIcston Shottle.

The overall runner-up, 12 days calved and giving 26 litres, sold for joint top price of £1,800 to Bishop Thornton’s Peter Sowray, who also paid £1,400 for another heifer from the same home. Mr Crisp was also responsible for the third prize newly calven heifer, knocked down to regular buyer Mark Goodall, of Tong, Bradford, for £1,720.

The same buyer also paid £1,800  joint top for a newly calven heifer giving a hefty 38 litres from Robin Jennings, who runs the Stainbank pedigree herd in South Stainley, Ripon.

On a quiet day with just eight cattle forward, newly calven heifers averaged £1,680 per head, with a single newly calven cow from David Fort in Glusburn making £1,100 when joining show judge Colin Whitelock, of Gargrave.

Sponsor was National Milk Records, who have supported Craven Dairy Auctions all year long. The next show and sale is on Monday, January 15.

Calves sell to £430
Also on the same day’s agenda was the final rearing calf sale of the year, when 65 head sold to a top of £430 for a Simmental bull calf from Chadwick & Leaver in Southfield, Burnley, with the Sowray brothers, from Bishop Thornton, also catching the eye with a £410 British Blue-cross bull calf.

Native youngsters sol well, with Aberdeen-Angus entries producing the leading prices -  £350 for a bull calf from Beamsley’s Alan Middleton and £300 for a heifer calf from John Marshall, of Dacre. Black and whites sold to a top of £95 for a Friesian-cross bull calf from Stephen Marshall, of West End. The opening 2018 calf show is on Monday, January 8.

Prime sales well supported
The weekly Monday prime sales attracted 40 cattle and 4,417 sheep. Keelham Farm Shop claimed eight of the 17 under 30-month clean cattle for its Skipton and Thornton shops, among them the top gross price 570kg Limousin-cross heifer from Jeff Pickles, of Chapel-le-Dale at £1,359, or 238.5p/kg. Top price per kilo was 253.5p, or £1,348, for a 530kg Limousin-cross heifer from James Drake, of Denholme, sold to Ellisons Butchers in Cullingworth.
The 4,000-plus prime lambs on offer sold to an overall average of £80.68 per head, or 188.25p/kg. There were again plenty of three-figure pens, which traded to a high of £117 twice for 52kg Texels from L Simpson & Sons, of Pateley Bridge,  purchased by Kendalls Farm Butchers for its shops in Pateley Bridge and Harrogate, and 41kg Beltex from Nick Capstick, of Bolton-by-Bowland, that were also top price per kilo at 285p. These joined regular wholesale buyers Vivers Scotlamb in Annan.

Also penned for sale were 22 cast cattle, which averaged £668.86 per head, or 99.41p/kg, along with 377 cast sheep, when cull ewes averaged £52.94 each and cast rams £50.63.

Both vendors are buyers are reminded that a special afternoon sale for both prime cattle and sheep will be staged on Thursday, December 28, the final turnout of 2017.