Auctioneer and valuer Andrew Clements writes The year started with a 500-head sale at Sedgemoor Auction Centre for GFL Dairy Ltd. A well-attended sale and solid trade throughout produced a promising start to the year. February saw the GTH team on farm for Dyer & Co’s dispersal sale of their British Friesian cows, which generated a brisk trade far exceeding the vendor’s expectations; and starting a trend for the year. A further 11 on farm dispersal sales followed, part of the 26 dispersal sales conducted by GTH. A number of these sales included items of dairy equipment and surplus machinery being sold on the same day, not only bringing a larger crowd but also spreading the cost of advertising creating a double win for vendors. This was particularly demonstrated with the on farm sale held for TE Pocock & Co, Bridgwater, which was conducted in the depths of this year’s cold and wet March and still attracted a large attendance with many purchasing both machinery and cattle on the same day.
Sales continued throughout a very busy spring with cattle travelling from Basingstoke to Sedgemoor and our team travelling to Sussex for the dispersal of the autumn calving herd for Castle Farm Partnership. It was very pleasing to witness the large number of our West Country buyers that followed us East and created a very successful sale. Later in the year our travels took us into Carmarthen for the very first time to conduct the Lyganlan/Elite Herd Dispersal for the Williams family. Here again a large number of our regular buyers travelled over the bridge to support us and combined with strong local support made the sale a roaring success just at the start of the drought that was the summer of 2018.
Two of the West Country’s most well-known herds were dispersed by GTH this year - the first of which was David and Valerie Norman’s Ciderhouse herd. This attracted buyers from across the West and Wales, making the most of the opportunity to buy from their well-respected herd, which they dispersed on farm in Dorset during May. The second sale was the prize-winning Oakroyal Herd who were awarded the accolade of being the National Premier Herd Competition winners just two weeks prior to their sale. As a result buyers and on-lookers travelled from Ireland, Scotland and all parts of England and Wales to witness this great herd go through the ring at Sedgemoor. The convenience of the sale site being just five minutes from the M5 and created an average of over £2000 per life and a top of 5600gns twice.
This year’s top price was generated at the Annual Spotlight Sale which drew vendors from all across England, South Wales and as far as Scotland and was paid for Richard Thomas’ maiden heifer, Churchvale Solomon Rachel selling for 6300gns to Randolph & Brian Miller for their Moorshard Herd.
The monthly collective dairy sales continue to prove to be the perfect opportunity to market all types of stock, whether it be one animal or 100, pedigree or commercial and any breed with regular consignors of freshly calved cows and heifers, youngstock and bulls selling alongside small dispersals. Our weekly dairy sales at Sedgemoor Auction Centre continue to be the largest weekly dairy market in the country averaging 85 a week of mainly freshly calved cows and heifers!
There is no doubt that 2018 has been an exceptionally busy year for Greenslade Taylor Hunt who continue to prove ourselves to be one of the leading dairy auctioneers in the country. We sell more cows on a weekly basis than any other firm and have been favoured with instructions to sell in excess of 10,000 dairy cattle in the past 12 months!