Milkers out in force at latest Craven Dairy Auction A virtually full shippon of milkers produced a welcome strong trade at the main March Craven Dairy Auction show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart. (Mon, March 27) Brian and Judith Moorhouse’s Aireburn pedigree Holstein herd in Bell Busk secured its first dairy championship of the year with the first prize newly calven heifer, Aireburn Gerard Honeysuckle, home-bred to the Genus bull, Shillview Gerard, the first time the sire had been used by the family. A fortnight calved and giving 32 litres, the victor made £1,800 when joining the show judge, Brian Blezard, of Ribchester,

Standing reserve champion was the second prize newly calven heifer from Peter Baul’s Ravensgate herd in Bishop Thornton. His Ravensgate Jeeves Marigold 187, by another Genus sire, Outside Jeeves, cane to market eight days calved and giving 28 litres. She made £1,750 when joining Alf and Andrew Townsend, of Southfield, Burnley.

However, it was the third prize 18 days calved 30-litre heifer from commercial dairy farmers, father and son, Tony and James Swires, from Stainburn, between Harrogate and Otley, that achieved top price of the day at £1,900 when selling to Mark Goodall, of Tong, Bradford, who also took home a second Swires 27 litre heifer at £1,880.

The Swires family also finished champion and reserve at the opening March show, when the title winner again joined Mr Goodall.

Father and daughter, Edward and Georgie Fort, of the Silmoor pedigree herd on Silsden Moor, caught the eye with a 14 days calved heifer, Silmoor Medallion, home-bred by Picston Shottle. Giving 28 litres, she made £1,820 when joining the Sowray brothers in Bishop Thornton.  

The Forts also stepped up with the first prize newly calven cow, Silmoor Leroy Flossey, 13 days calved and giving 33 litres. She sold locally for £1,700 to JP&KE Hartley in Bolton Abbey. Class prices peaked at £1,680 for an entry from John Ireland, of Thorpe Bassett, Malton, claimed by Roger Naylor, of Langbar, Ilkley.

Keith Downs, of Milnerfield, Bingley, saw his consignment of ten heifers and cows in ready demand when selling from £1,300 up to £1,780.  An in-calf heifer from GD&JC Holme, of Bolton Abbey, made £900 when joining Tom Goulding, of Castley, Otley.

With 28 dairy cattle forward, pedigree newly calven heifers averaged £1,641, closely followed by commercial heifers at £1,617. Newly calven cows averaged £1,515. Co-sponsors were National Milk Records and famers buying group, Woldmarsh,

‘Flying’ calf trade
A smaller turnout of 30 rearing calves at the same day’s weekly sale met with a flying trade, with John Marshall, of Dacre, proving the standout performer when achieving the leading prices in no less than five different classes.

His British Blue-cross bull calf was overall top at £400, with a month-old Blue heifer calf hitting £390, plus another at £350. Mr Marshall also sold a Limousin heifer calf at £250, and Hereford-cross bull and heifer calves at £200 and £175 respectively. Continental-cross entries averaged £335 per head overall and natives £192.50.

Black and whites were a similar trade on the week, with Jim Caygill, of Rylstone, responsible for the top price £160 bull calf. Black and whites averaged £74.09 per head.