Lambs on the up as new buyers emerge at Lairg sale

If the Lairg sheep sale held yesterday retains its reputation for setting the sheep trade for the season, then sheep men will be happy.

Lairg market hosts the annual lamb sale. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images
Lairg market hosts the annual lamb sale. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

In total, 15,648 lambs were sold with 11,454 wedders averaging £54.43, up £2.59 on the year while 4,194 ewe lambs averaged £70.79, up £1.02.

Commenting on the trade, David Leggat of United Auctions said the lambs were coming into the sale in very good order and were certainly as heavy as last year. He added there were a significant number of new buyers around the sale ring. He believed the trade for forward lambs had been boosted by the current strength in the market.

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George Milne, Scottish development manager for the National Sheep Association – who was also a buyer at the sale – commented it was very encouraging to see the good demand for both breeding and store lambs.

Top prices: Wedders: £68 from Allan Mackay South Balkeith; £66.50 Dunbeath farms £66.50 Joyce Campbell Armadale; £66 Fraser, Lairg; £66 Mckay South Balkeith. Ewe lambs: £145, £120, £118, all South Balkieh; £110 Achentoul farms; £108 Joyce Campbell. She also had one pen of 207 lambs at £102.

Belter of a day for Beltex

Beltex breeders went home from “their” sale at Harrison & Hetherington, Carlisle, having witnessed their breed confirm its position at the top end of the sheep trade. A new breed record of 60,000 guineas was set and 686 shearling rams sold at an average of £1225.18.

The new breed record ram, Topflite Al Pacino, came from Dumfries-based Grant and Gemma Anderson and went to joint purchasers Paul Tippetts and Christine Williams of Shropshire.

There was also a new breed record for a ram lamb, with 25,000gns being paid to the Buckle family, Kirkby Stephen, for Broxty Boxer by Andrew Wood for his Withy Trees flock. This helped the ram lamb average to £1228.22 for 186 sold.

Wood also bought a Cree shearling for 13,000gns from the Campbell family. The shearling had been a class winner a this year’s Highland show.

There was a brace of 12,000gns deals for shearlings, with the first of these from the Buckle family going to Henry Jewitt, Barnard Castle.

Then Wade and Alison McCrabbe, Raphoe, sold one at the same level to commercial ram producer Paul Slater, Macclesfield.