Lawson four-timer at Craven Dairy Auction A fourth Craven Dairy Auction championship of 2015 fell to the Wharfedale-based Newbirks pedigree Holstein herd, the reigning Craven Cattle Marts’ Dairy Farmers of the Year, at the main May show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart. Father and daughter David and Suzy Lawson, of Mill Farm, Arthington, saw their first prize newly calven heifer, Newbirks Gertie 321, by the home-bred Braedale Goldwyn son, Newbirks Jazwyn, progress to become overall champion courtesy of show judge Stephen Coates, of Baildon Moor, who then backed his judgment at the ringside when securing his chosen victor, 19 days calved and giving 32 litres, for £1,800.


However, it was the second prize newly calven heifer and reserve show champion, Grinkle Romeo Breeze, from  Sammy Sugden, who runs the Brontemoor pedigree dairy herd at Dobfield Farm, Laycock, near Keighley, that achieved top price honours after keen competition at the ringside when falling for £2,000 to regular buyers Alf and Andrew Townsend, of Southfield, Burnley.


The runner-up, by the Picston Shottle son, Grinkle Romeo, was acquired by Sammy last year at a sale staged by RG&HE Thompson, of Sneaton, Whitby. Nine days-calved, she came to market giving 30 litres.


The small turnout of 14 dairy cattle reflected a general trend seen on the day, as many farmers now have one eye on their silage. Apart from the two principals, which sold well, others met an easier trade.


The pedigree newly calven heifers forward averaged £1,575 per head, with their commercial counterparts – all straight, average yielding and hard-wearing dairy animals - averaging £1,116 each and selling to a high of £1,160 for an entry from Mark Stapleton, of Addingham Moorside. The buyer was Gargrave’s David Shuttleworth.


A brace of 11-month-old maiden heifers from R&E Pollard, of Colne, saw the leading performer make £760 when joining Duncan Holme in Storiths.


Main show sponsors were ForFarmers, joined by co-sponsors NMR, Shepherd Agri and VG Energy.


The top price-buying Townsends were also in action as vendors at the same day’s bank holiday Monday sale of rearing calves when themselves heading the prices in two bull calf classes with a £455 British Blue-cross and £260 Aberdeen Angus.


However, it was a strong Simmental heifer calf aged just under two months from Gargrave’s John Blackwell that topped the day’s prices at £460.The same vendor also sold a same age, same way bred calf for £420, along with a Hereford bull calf at £240.


With just 16 calves forward, Continental-cross entries averaged £362 per head and native breed youngsters £251.50. Black and white calves were again strong when averaging £85 each, with a high of £105 for a bull calf from Edward Fort, of Silsden.


Numbers were also down in the prime cattle section, with the 11 cull cows forward selling to an overall average a few pence short of £690 per head, or 117.5p/kg, headed by a black and white from Malcolm Ryder, of Haverah Park, which made £902. The single over 30-month entry, another black and white from Stephen Marshall, of Summerbridge, sold for £957.63.