Positive vibes on trade at Skipton midweek cattle sale Skipton Auction Mart’s first fortnightly Wednesday store cattle sale with the latest Covid-19 restrictions in place for both vendors and purchasers alike attracted an all-feeding entry of 359 head, comprising 136 young bulls, 209 bullocks and heifers, and 14 beef feeding cattle. A good number of four-figure prices were seen across all sections. (Apr 1)

Trade for feeding bulls was deemed very fair and while the overall selling average showed a fall of around £20 per head on the previous fortnight both strong bulls and the very smart end were able to command a very similar trade.
D&S Hollings, of Peckett Well, Hebden Bridge, topped the section at £1,120 with a British Blue-cross bull, while a six-strong Limousin-cross consignment from JH&CM Stancliffe, of Bingley - these the two top price pens - each went under the hammer at £1,110. Small bulls were a shade easier, though most exhibiting shape sold into the high £800s. The Continental-cross selling average for the section was £937, natives averaging £810.
Store cattle transferred to the main and much larger sales ring, reflecting operational changes well in line with social distancing requirements, with lots also organised into age order to further reduce the number of people present at any one time.
Trading levels were viewed as positive, with strong cattle notably good to sell. Bullocks made to a day’s top of £1,290 for a Limousin-cross from Ned Simpson in Pateley Bridge, with Clapham’s Jonathan Townley achieving £1,250 with a 12-month-old Blue-cross.
JG Hall & Son, of Gargrave, made £1,230 each with the top price pen of three Limousin cross, with other forward yearling bullocks selling to £1,180, this from Rossendale’s K Sunderland, with two others from the same home making £1,155 and £1,110. Store bullocks sold to a Continental-cross average of £973, natives averaging £742.
Heifer trade hit £1,200 on two occasions, the first again coming from Nidderdale-based Ned Simpson for a 23-month-old Limousin, the other for a 17-month-old Blonde form K Lister & Sons in Kettlewell, Plenty of other stronger heifers made £1,050 to £1,190, among them the top price pen of five Limousin-cross, once more from Mr Simpson, which each made £1,100.
Younger cattle found a nice enquiry - with grass day just round the corner the mart says buyers will be looking to fill orders – and while quality was lacking among the yearling entries Jonathan Townley was able to achieve £1,000 each with a brace of Limousin-cross both born last summer. The section average was £904 for Continental-cross and £742 for natives.
Beef-cross feeding cows maintained buyer interest and, while slightly easier because of the falling finish price, the impending seasonal shortage kept the entry a very respectable trade, with a top of £1,020 for a 2015 Limousin cow from JM&S Tennant, of Bordley, and a cow average of £745.
Skipton Auction Mart’s general manager Jeremy Eaton noted: “This was our first store cattle sale without vendors on site, which is for the protection of public health and reflective of current times. We remain very appreciative of sellers’ understanding and co-operation in enabling this important measure and leaving stock with realistic instructions.
“Now that this first sale is out of the way and everyone knows what they are doing, things will be easier for the next fortnightly sale on Wednesday, April 15, and vendors can enter cattle with the usual utmost confidence of achieving full value at a live auction.
“An entry of up to 585 head is anticipated and there is already keen interest from a good audience of customers expected to attend. Anyone wishing to discuss arrangements for selling cattle at this time should not hesitate to contact any of the auctioneers.”