Flying trades and a busy 2022 has seen our dairy team remain one of the leading in the country. With circa 12,000 cattle sold through the ring at Sedgemoor, on farm and privately we have kept our dedicated team very busy this year. As the year drew to a close we took the opportunity to recap and look forward to 2023.
With 2021 being one of the busiest years we have ever had, we uncharacteristically launched in to January 2022 with a diary full of sales. As costs remained high and the milk price not yet hitting the headline figures that followed later in the year, a number of farmers decided to call it a day.
The first dairy dispersal was organic crossbreds from South Brent, Devon from WGF & DW Hunt. The extensively grazed cattle sold to much demand setting something of a theme for crossbreds sold in 2022.
Our January Collective Sale was one of the largest January entries for many years topping at 2700gns for a red heifer from Sophie Morgan. The averages achieved started to etch towards the £2000 mark.
The pedigree Farmestate Herd favoured Sedgemoor to disperse their quality herd of strong Holsteins followed by the combining of two smaller herds for the Curtis & Tucker families. A joint dispersal was held which helped not only with costs but also to attract a large contingent of buyers from across the south and Wales.
In mid-February with 50 lots over £2000 the Tarischka herd from Richard and Denise Foot of Sherborne Dorset really sparked the upward trade as milk price was moving towards the 50p mark. From then on the milk price remained more stable and with it the herd dispersals across the south of England dried up.
This lack of dispersals strengthened the trade further and the averages for the calved heifers at our monthly collective sales rose from £2192 in March to £2345 in May.
Our April collective sale featured such pedigree highlights as Stowey Jordy Rainbow at 3200gns and Peak Denv Rhapsody at 3000gns.
May and June brought another flurry of sales with dispersals for Andy Gent, Dan Britten (autumn calving herd), Roger Barrington (organic herd) and the Bennett family from Gloucester all reaching impressive averages with demand continuing to outstrip supply.
One of the most unexpected strong trades of the year was for the once a day milking, spring calving LIC bred herd from JW Finding Ltd of Dorchester. The cows were all sold when calved and just served again and saw 9th lactation Jersey crosses to 1320gns! A very impressive average of £1271 was achieved for these smaller framed cows. More crossbred cows in demand generating a good trade were from Rolf Park Farm Ltd of the New Forest who averaged £1558 (inc all faults).
July brought around our annual Spotlight Sale which this year was coupled with the Nortonhill Dipsersal for David Willcox who’s Boghill Zazzle Carlin sold for 4600gns. Richard Thomas, from Carmarthen consigned Churchvale Chief Maude who sold for 4200gns. Another multibreed sale this year with Ayrshires to 3000gns for the Cornish bred Pam Ayrs Bigtime Hawaii and Brown Swiss to 2500gns for Allstar Phil Sindy.
A markedly upward jump in the trade for incalf heifers was seen this year. Our collective sales have included youngstock, in the form of close to calving heifers for vendors that have previously dispersed their herds with us, averaging up to £1868 with a significant number breaking the 2000gns barrier.
As well as dairy specialists we also run very successful machinery sales and one of the most attended sales we conducted this year was the on farm sale at Marks Barn Farm, Crewekerne. On the day we not only sold the herd of organic cows and followers, we also combined the sale with tractors, machinery and dairy equipment to bring the farming partnership to an end. A very successful day included a John Deere 6115R selling for £65,500 and cows to 2300gns.
Through the height of the summer when milk price was circa 50p per litre dispersal sales went quiet making our weekly dairy market and collective sales the main source for dairy producers requiring replacements and the trade continued to climb, The Saturday market witnessed its first commercial heifer hit £3000 for the Pratt family from Honiton and the September Collective Sale saw the calved cows sold averaging £2632 and the calved heifers £2572! Included in this sale was a small dispersal of commercial cows for PR & SJ Richards from Ipswich whose long journey was rewarded with cows to £2730.
The October Collective Sale hit 3000gns again for a Bettiscombe heifer with Fleckvieh incalf heifers for the Voizey family of Yeovil to 2050gns. 280 bulling and yearling heifers from the Colegrove’s of Cornwall attracted buyers from across the entire breath of England and Wales selling to in excess of £1000.
As is often the case, as the nights started to draw in and winter loomed ahead, the sales diary filled up again and we concluded November and December with a number of sales for the Milverton family, Rolf Park Farm and the Muriel Herd.
In December the “Leamon” herd dispersal on behalf of Colin and Clarissa Salmon was a superb way of concluding our dispersal sales for the year. With over 30 red and whites, excellent AI bulls used throughout and a breadth of families that had been developed for many years it was pleasing to see a packed ring and spirited bidding, especially for the charity lot which our vendors generously donated to the Farming Community Network, a red calved heifer from 8 generations of VG and Ex sold to the Rowland family for 3800gns. The milking cattle averaged over £2000 on the day.
Our final live sale was the Christmas Cracker Show and Sale being a celebration of our year of Collective Sales and despite being the coldest morning of the year (-6 degrees) produced 52 over £2000 with the Champion accolade going to Robert Horton’s Hinton Cosmont Sara. The Pedigree Ayrshire topped the day at 3100gns selling to Ireland for Chris & Nicky Lockyer.
To conclude the year we held our online Christmas Spotlight Sale which again drew interest from across the entire UK and Ireland, topping at 4800gns was Iwan Morgan’s Erie Unix Lustre who sold to Noel & Daniel Willis’ Conncorr herd in Ireland. Close behind at 4600gns was Wiltor Fit Blexy selling to the Hodgson family from Wormanby. Once again we had spirited bidding for all breeds with the Brown Swiss Infinity Frosty selling for 2800gns.
With a great trade throughout the year, helped of course by higher milk prices and strong barren cow trades, we now look towards 2023. In the short term we believe the trade will hold for the fresh and close to calving stock. Talks of milk price dropping has slowed the staler milk trade but normally as we hit into the spring we see demand rise again for off lying cows and youngstock. We have a dedicated team here at Sedgemoor and if you would like to talk through your plans with free no obligation advice please do not hesitate to get in touch.
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