At the Suffolk Sheep Society National Sale in Shrewsbury trade was slower than previous years.
Numbers were marginally down on the year but clearance was up slightly up from 64 per cent to 65 per cent. Averages for ram lambs was down from £1,475 in 2018 to £1,230.
Breed society CEO, Robin McIlrath put this down to a reluctance for farmers to invest too heavily until the outlook for the sector over the next few years becomes clearer.
A ram lamb from George L Stuart’s Birness flock, Aberdeenshire led the trade at 7,200gns. By Ballynacannon Noah out of a Ballynacannon sired dam, it was bought by Stephen Cobbald, Suffolk for his Lavenham flock.
Another Ballynacannon sired ram lamb from the same pen took the pre-sale show championship before selling for 6,000gns to D.J. Harvey, Powys.
The reserve champion, a Strathbogie I’m Invincible sired ram lamb from S. and W. Tait’s Burnview flock, Co Tyrone sold for 6,600gns. The full brother to 10,000gns Burnview Bombay Sapphire, was knocked down to Darren McMenamin, Donegal.
The six lambs from Mark Priestley’s Limestone pen, Co Down averaged 2,730gns peaking at 5,200gns for a son of Limestone Aston Martin out of a Forkins dam. The buyer was Jason Trimble, Northern Ireland.
At 5,000gns, and heading to the Republic of Ireland to join E. Duffy’s Kells flock, was another Aston Martin lamb, this time out of a Balquhain dam from the same pen.
Also selling for 5,000gns was a ram lamb by Strathbogie Shogun from J. T. and E. A. Midgley’s Orion flock, York, purchased by J. M. Robinson and Sons for their Crusoe flock, Lincolnshire.
The top price ewe lamb at 1,500gns was a Rookery bred lamb from C.J. Holmes, Worcestershire, which sold to P. Kennedy and P. McVerry, Northern Ireland.
Averages: 11 Shearling ewes, £515; 13 ewe lambs, £524; 128 ram lambs, £1,230.
Auctioneers: J. Straker, Chadwick and Sons with Halls.