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Stackyard News Apr 08

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Skipton BTV Surveillance Zone Opt-In Pays Off for Bauls

Skipton Auction Mart’s decision to take up the DEFRA option of becoming part of the Bluetongue surveillance zone for trading purposes paid off handsomely for Bishop Thornton, near Harrogate, farmers M Baul and Partners when they landed a debut April Craven Dairy Auction championship success. (Mon, Apr 21)

Peter Baul, centre, is congratulated by Craven Dairy Auction sponsor Frank Chute, with judge Colin Whitelock appraising the April champion.
Peter Baul

Before the move, the Bauls, of Watergate Farm, which falls within the surveillance zone, would have been prevented from trading at Skipton as the mart is in a clear area less than 6kms outside the boundary.

It now means that previously excluded stock from Nidderdale and West Yorkshire, including Calderdale and Kirklees, can again be sold at Skipton alongside clear area livestock, as the mart makes a concerted effort to boost both entry numbers and choice.

The Craven Dairy Auction champion, a newly-calven heifer giving five gallons, is a product of the Bauls’ Ravensgate pedigree Holstein Friesian herd, being by the Genus bull Roylane Jordan, out of a home-bred cow.

Awarded the BOCM Pauls Diary Cup, the victor sold for £1,500 to Calderdale buyer Ian Dodson, of Ripponden, who also received a £60 cash bonus as buyer of the title-winner from Farmers & Mercantile Insurance Brokers.

Mr Dodson, who is restocking his commercial dairy herd, bought a total of six milkers at Skipton. His other acquisitions included the first prize newly-calven cow at £1,280 from Robert Crisp, of Calton, Skipton, and a newly-calven heifer from Raymond and Robert Johnson, of Felliscliffe, Harrogate, at £1,900 – top price of the day.

Maiden heifers sold to a top price of £660, this entry from GR Bretherton, of Houghton, Preston, bought by Stephen Abbott, of Dacre, Harrogate.

Judge was Colin Whitelock, of Gargrave, with the show attracting a local sponsor in Frank Chute, of IMS (Industrial Maintenance Solutions), based in Embsay, who is also regional agent for Quattro. The next Craven Dairy Auction takes place on Monday, May 19.

Explaining the decision to become part of the surveillance zone, Jeremy Eaton, general manager at Skipton Auction Mart, said: “The alteration to the Bluetongue boundary last month impacted strongly on nearby areas from which we could receive stock, notably Nidderdale, West Yorkshire and Calderdale.

“This resulted in a significant decrease in livestock passing through our rings, with store cattle and feeding bull entries halved. In particular, we have experienced a 74% reduction in the number of cull cows.

“As a direct result, it has become difficult to maintain the interest of buyers who need both choice and numbers to make transport economical.

“After careful consideration, the Board at Skipton decided that the most important issue is to maintain the number of buyers at the ringside to ensure that a strong and healthy demand persists until the time when the Bluetongue status of the whole region – or the country – changes.

“To assist with this, DEFRA is now offering markets and abattoirs within 8km of the surveillance zone the option of becoming part of the zone and operating under these conditions. Safe in the knowledge that there should be no requirement to take home stock unsold if sufficient buyers are in attendance, the Board has decided to take up the DEFRA option.

“The only drawback is the non-return home of unsold stock coming from a clear area farm. However, the Board hopes that, on balance, the advantage of running sales with sufficient entries to bring in buyers outweighs the disadvantages of the return home of clear stock in the unlikely event that it is unsold.

“We need to ensure that we retain as many buyers as possible for the future and give as many of our customers as possible the chance to continue to trade through the market – in the hope that a more equitable solution to the control of the spread of Bluetongue is devised.”

link Skipton Mart Championship Brace for Fawcetts
link British Blue Back-to-Back Skipton Young Bulls Success
link Robert Phillip Five-Timer at Craven Dairy Auction

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