Snowdrop blooms at Craven Dairy Auction Robin Jennings, who runs the Stainbank pedigree dairy herd at Hull House Farm, South Stainley, Ripon, picked up his first Craven Dairy Auction championship of 2018 at Skipton Auction Mart’s second February show and sale. (Mon, Feb 26)

Mr Jennings was victorious with the first prize newly-calven heifer from his highly regarded Snowdrop line, one of the herd’s original cow families, going back 60 years or so. Stainbank Snowdrop 293, by the Genus sire, Ked Outside Jeeves, out of Snowdrop 287, was 18 days calved and giving 32 litres. She sold for £1,750 to the show judge, regular Skipton dairy buyer Andrew Townsend, of Southfield, Burnley,

Overall reserve champion was the second prize newly calven heifer from commercial dairyman Mark Smith, of Rookery Farm, Winterburn. She is a daughter of Aireburn Snowman, a bull bought locally from Brian and Judith Moorhouse in Bell Busk and used for the past four years. “He has left a nice stamp on the herd,” said Mr Smith. The 11 days calved 27-litre runner up sold for a price-topping £1,800 to Stephen Breare, of Silsden Moor.
Craven Dairy Auction regular and multiple past champion Robert Crisp, of Nelson Farm, Calton, stepped up with the third prize heifer, claimed by the Clarke family in Hampsthwaite for £1,550.

Tony and James Swires, of Stainburn, also had a run of good heifers, which sold to a top of £1,700 to another regular buyer, Ribchester’s Brian Blezard. Newly calven heifers averaged £1,535.

Trade for the 11 head on parade was not quite as sharp, likely reflected by the announcement the previous Friday of a 2.16p per litre milk price cut from ARLA UK.