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View from the rostrum: Sales have hit the ground running

Oliver Chapman looks back at the year in sales.

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Oliver Chapman
Oliver Chapman
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View from the rostrum: Sales have hit the ground running

An in-town livestock market provides not only a place for vendors and buyers to carry out business but it also offers the opportunity to socialise and meet up with fellow farmers from across the country.

 

Although the current restrictions make things more difficult, being able to operate and sell livestock means the farmer gets the true value of their stock and the benefits of the live ring continues to shine through.

 

For all involved with running and operating livestock markets up and down the country, 2020 was a challenging year.

 

The live option of selling finished and store stock throughout the year went from strength-to-strength, with markets seeing a strong demand from all buyers from start to finish.

 

Throughout 2020, continued help, guidance and support from the Livestock Auctioneers’ Association from the first day of the pandemic through to the current day, allowed our market to hold its annual Christmas Stock Show and Sale, following all current guidelines.

 

It was a bumper year with bumper numbers in all sections at Louth Livestock Market’s Christmas fatstock sale:

 

  • 622 more lambs sold at this year’s sale compared with 2019.
  • Lambs average £9.90/head more compared with 2019 .
  • Cattle average saw an increase of £215.50/head compared with 2019’s show and sale.

 

A change of market day back in June 2020 saw the number of head increase in all sections of the market, proving popular with all involved.

 

In turn it encouraged more buyers and more stock. Sheep numbers doubled and broke the 20,000 barrier for prime lambs and hoggs sold in 2020 – figures not seen for some years at Louth.


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Although we are only a couple of sales into the new calendar for 2021, sales have hit the ground running with entries forward up on the year and increased buying power week in week out.

 

As a market the aim is to increase numbers and further secure the future of the market while continuing to play an important part in the heart of the town.

 

The restrictions meant we needed a different approach to allow vendors to be able to watch their stock sell and to allow the regulars feel as though they can still experience the market.

 

We now livestream the sales each week, which has taken the market to a new, wider audience, with farmers from all four corners of the country tuning in on a Monday afternoon.

 

So far this year we have seen an increase in local farmers venturing into store lambs and the grazing of forage crops to maximize the efficiency and use of their land.

 

Louth is situated in the arable farming county of Lincolnshire.

 

Forage crops in rotations and the grazing of vegetable fields once harvested are readily available, making for ideal sheep and cattle farming.

 

Livestock travels from all corners of the county to take advantage of the buoyant trade.

Oliver Chapman is a livestock auctioneer at Louth Market. Call 01507 350 528, or email oliver@masons-surveyors.co.uk

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