2014-07-18  facebook twitter rss

Lawson's Bag Another Craven Dairy Auction Title

Multiple Craven Dairy Auction champions, the Wharfedale-based Lawson family, landed their fourth title of the year at the opening July show and sale at Skipton Auction Mart.

The Lawsons – husband and wife David and Claire, and their children Suzy and Matt - who run the prolific Newbirks pedigree Holstein herd at Mill Farm, Arthington, bagged no less than eight title wins last year and added to their 2014 tally at the latest renewal when their first prize newly calven heifer was adjudged champion by judge Stephen Coates, of Baildon Moor.



The 18 days-calved victor, giving 32 litres, is the first daughter of the Genus sire Bomaz Homestead to be shown and sold at auction by the Lawsons and she excelled in the ring when falling for £3,000, the highest price of the Skipton dairy year to date, to Stephen and Edward Jeanes, from Glusburn, regular buyers of first-rate dairy cattle from the Lawsons.

The reserve championship was awarded to the first prize newly calven cow from J&J Whittaker, of Far Laithe Farm, Laneshawbridge. The second calver, by the Whittakers’ former stock bull Joylan Crackerjack, bred in Lancashire by Alan Swale, came to market 27 days-calved and giving 25kgs, with a cell count of just 31. She found a new home with Pat Gratton, of Brimham Lodge, Burnt Yates, when knocked down for £1,820, top price in class.

The overall runner-up formed part of the final portion of the Whittaker dairy herd dispersal following the passing of John Whittaker earlier this year. The family has sold its entire 150-strong herd, comprising 110 milkers, plus followers, at Skipton.

The last 14 – four milkers, the remainder in-calf to their British Friesian stock bull Catlane Coracle, sold at the previous Craven Dairy Auction – went under the hammer at the latest sale, and the family, who have supported the dairy auction at Skipton for many years, again presented their cattle in excellent condition.

All once again found a ready trade when achieving total clearance, with their top price performer on the day, a Dairy Shorthorn-cross cow in-calf to a British Friesian, selling to Tom Green, of Wrightington, Wigan, for £2,000.

It proved a day of mixed emotions for Mr Whittaker’s widow Joan and daughters Helen, Johanne and Christine. Helen, who works in the industry sector as an area manager for National Milk Records (NMR), said the family was sadly, but unavoidably coming out of farming completely. “They will be sorely missed around the dairy ring,” said Skipton auctioneer Sam Bradley.

Now that their dairy herd has been fully sold, Craven Cattle Marts will conduct an on-farm sale of the Whittakers’ flock of 190 Mule shearling sheep and farm machinery, on Friday, August 15.

Back in the Skipton diary ring, the Aireburn pedigree herd of regular vendor Brian Moorhouse, of Bell Busk, another multiple past champion, achieved £2,600 for the second time in as many sales with a newly calven heifer snapped up by regular buyer James Kayley, of Halton West.

With 52 head forward, pedigree newly calven heifers averaged £1,922 each, with their commercial counterparts averaging £1,650 and selling to a high of £2,150 for an entry from the Johnson family in Felliscliffe, Harrogate, which also fell to Tom Green.

Newly calven cows averaged £1,394 per head, in-calf cows £1,380 and in-calf heifers £1,392, with a top of £1,800 from Easingwold’s Mick Corner. Broughton’s Jeremy Taylor sold a maiden heifer at £820, while the Whittaker family also sold a number of heifer calves to £300.

The same day’s weekly rearing calf sale attracted a bumper entry of 101 youngsters, including a sizeable dairy-bred contingent, though it was the Continental-cross breeds that again met with the best trade.

Top price of £460 fell to a British Blue-cross bull calf from P&RM Sutcliffe, of Queensbury, who were also responsible for the highest priced heifer calf, another British Blue-cross at £385. Blue bull calves averaged £360 per head overall and £306 for heifers.

Limousin-cross heifer calves sold to a high of £390, this from Alf Townsend, of Burnley, with same way bred bull calves peaking at £370 for an entry from KHE&SK Hitchen, of Ludendendfoot in Calderdale. The respective breed averages were £377 and £282. Black and white bull calves averaged £36 each, with a notable high of £125 from E Bradley, Kettlesing.

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