BREEDING SHEEP values may well be down on last year's record levels, but it was only to be expected following the hard spring and the severe lack of available cash, according to those in the know who believe the majority of consignors have been relatively happy with the trade to date.
SHEEP FARMERS have struggled more than most financially over the past year due to the poor weather and horrendous feed bills, but there is still money to be made in the sector if producers look to rely more on grass than concentrate feeds.
TRADE WAS once again buoyant for the best end of Cheviot Mule breeding females at the Cumberland and Dumfries-shire Farmers Mart's Longtown centre, on Tuesday, although averages were back on the year by £8 for ewe lambs and £10 for gimmers - in line with other centres.
BUYERS WERE more selective at Wallets Marts annual show and sale of Scotch Mule gimmers last weekend, where sheep were not in as good a bloom and almost 1200 more gimmers were forward compared to the same sale last year.
LAWRIE AND Symington had forward 4500 head of Scotch Mule and Continental breeding females which included a show and sale of Scotch Mules gimmers and ewe lambs which was judged by Rory Shennan, Carsegowan, New Abbey.
Farm equipment sales having dropped more than 10% on the year for the first six months of 2013, with British farmers having spent approximately £0.9billion, according to the latest report from the Agricultural Engineers Association.