Wallets Marts Castle Douglas Ltd sold 1525 suckled calves, native store cattle and continental store cattle at their annual show and sale on Saturday.
Despite continuing fears within the sector in respect of escalating feed prices and late harvests, all the sceptics were silenced when a packed ringside of bidders witnessed the largest sale in recent years and trade for the majority of sellers well up on last year’s record levels.
At the show, judge David Valender from Chipping Campden awarded the champion ticket to Messrs Ross, Romesbeoch, Dumfries, with a spring-born Charolais bullock which scaled 404kgs and made £990 to the judge.
Reserve champion was an Aberdeen Angus bullock from Messrs Fleming, South Milton, Glenluce, which scaled 436kgs and made £975 to the judge.
The champion pen of four calves came from M & G Barr, Meikle Kirkland. They scaled 380kgs and made £930 to the judge. The native pen of four was won by Messrs Fleming South Milton and sold for £1040. Morissons Supermarkets and Allflex UK support this event.
The spring calf section saw a marvellous show of mainly April- and May-born calves. Trade for all classes were outstanding and surprisingly enough both bullocks and heifers were 5kgs heavier on the year. Topping this section at £990 was the champion calf from Romesbeoch at £990. Top price per kilo was 263.9p for Charolais crosses from Messrs Finlay, Waterside. Spring-born bullocks averaged 234.78p with Limousins averaging 225.9p and the overall average for bullocks in this section was 229p or £706.07 a rise of 12.2p and £50 on the year. Spring-born heifers topped at £715 for Charolais crosses from Waterside and 236.4p per kilo for a pen of outstanding Limousin crosses from R Jardine & Son, Upper Hardland. Spring-born heifers averaged 193.5p and £564.87, a rise of 5p per kilo and £18 per head.
Next up was the native section which saw a top of £1080 for Luings from R Carr, Airyolland, and 223.6 for Aberdeen Angus crosses from South Milton. Native heifers sold to £965 for Aberdeen Angus crosses from Garrarie. Overall average in this section levelled at 189.4p or £734.55 for bullocks (a rise of 17p per kilo) and 161.4p or £594.66 for heifers (a rise of 16p per kilo).
The autumn-born suckled calves and store cattle section was topped at £1200 for a pair of Limousin cross bullocks from R McKinnel, Drumneil. Top price per kilo was 238.22p for British Blues from A McCornick & Co, Barnbackle. Heifers sold to £1100 and 242.3p per kilo for Charolais cross yearlings from M & G Barr, Meikle Kirkland, selling to D Morgan, Hereford. Bullocks averaged 205.22p and £862.03 a rise of 8.2p per kilo and £11 per head whilst heifers levelled at 182.9p per kilo and £703.58 per head, again a rise of 6p per kilo and £31 per head.