Lawsons on the mark at Craven Dairy Auction The Lawson family’s Newbirks pedigree dairy herd clinched its first championship success of 2016 at the March bank holiday Craven Dairy Auction show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart. (Monday, March 28) Father and daughter David and Suzy Lawson, of Mill Farm, Arthington, lifted the title with their first prize newly calven heifer, Newbirks Heliotrope 361, by the Italian-bred Genus sire, Zelgadis, out of Heliotrope 326. With four generations of VG Ex behind her, the victor, four weeks calved and giving 29 litres, sold for £1,580 to regular buyers Alf and Andrew Townsend, of Southfield, Burnley,

The Lawsons, multiple past Skipton dairy champions and top price achievers, were also responsible for the first prize newly calven cow, number 1617 from their milk rich Jazz family. By another Genus bull, Bassingthorpe Bossman, the red rosette winner joined Cowling’s Martyn Jennings for £1,380.

They also stepped up with the third prize newly calven heifer, another Jazz, this one 1650, by Fly-Higher Michelob, again from Genus, which made £1,640, top call of the day, when falling to Brian Blezard, of Ribchester.

Show judge Frank Wrathall, of Gisburn, remained in the newly calven heifers class for his chosen reserve champion, the second prize winner from Andrew Jennings, who runs the Abbeyhouse pedigree dairy herd in Fountains, near Ripon.

His 14 days-calved Abbeyhouse Baltimor Kay, by the Canadian-bred Semex bull, Regancrest Baltimor, out of Abbeyhouse Magot Kay, and with nine generations of VG Ex behind her, came to market giving 33 litres and became another Townsend buy at £1,420.

Robin Jennings, who runs the Stainbank pedigree Holstein herd at Hill House Farm, South Stainley, also made £1,400 with a newly calven heifer sold to Richard Sutcliffe, of Queensbury.

Bingley’s Keith Downs presented the second prize newly calven cow, sold for £1,200 to John Marshall, of Dacre, with D&A Fort, of Glusburn, selling their third prize winner for £1,000, again to Martyn Jennings.

With a better show of heifers, trade was a touch stronger on the fortnight, as a selective ringside forced more desirable sorts into a good trade, with three-quarters of the milkers on offer averaging well towards £1,400, though a few second rate entries dragged the average back.

Of the 24 head forward, the 19 newly calven heifers among them averaged £1,185 each, with nine newly calven cows averaging £980 per head. Show co-sponsors were NMR, VG Energy and farmers buying group Woldmarsh.

Rearing calf trade still strong
The same day’s weekly rearing calf sale attracted a 64-strong turnout, which again met with strong trade throughout, with a joint high of £435 for a brace of British Blue-cross bull calves from Dacre’s John Marshall, and Alan Middleton, of JP&KE Hartley in Beamsley. The section average was a healthy £326 per head.

Of the native breeds, Hereford and Angus calves were all well bid for, with Richard Spence, of Sutton-in-Craven, topping the former at £330 and John Dodgson, of Bank Newton, the latter at £280. Native youngsters averaged £217.20 per head.

Black and whites were up in price on the week, averaging £102.50 per head, with ten reaching three figure prices and selling to a high of £165 for a Friesian bull calf from Stephen Marshall, of West End.

“Seasonal buyers continue to turn up for well-reared calves and we are keen to keep them well supplied,” noted the mart’s Sam Bradley in a clarion call to prospective vendors