Despite an increased entry, trade held up well at the Mid Month dairy cattle sale at Beeston, where 379 head were forward, of which only a few failed to find new homes.

Holstein heifers from Fife breeder, Gavin Struthers' Balcurvie herd from Windygates, again led the trade with sales at £2250, £2200 twice and £2050 on two occasions.

Dearest at £2250 was Balcurvie Buttons Eilidh, a daughter of Hillhead Buttons, giving 36kg having calved a month. She sold to an undisclosed Cheshire buyer, who also went to £2200 twice for heifers from the same home. First was Balcurvie Goodwhone Judy, which calved two weeks and was giving 34kg per day, with the second being Balcurvie Topsy Alicia, which calved a month previously and was 36kg.

Mr Struthers also sold two at £2050 to a Sahara Baloo daughter, calved a month and giving 32kg, and another by Kampman, again calved a month and giving 35kg. Both were purchased by H Sinker and Sons, Llangollen.

Matching that £2050 bid was an unregistered Pro-cross Montbeliarde cross heifer from local producers, R and C Bates, purchased by C Tomlinson, Agden. She changed hands three weeks calved and giving 35kg.

Cows met a fast trade, selling to £2100 for a second calver by Goldwyn from the Roxy family, consigned by SM Gilman and Ptns of Lilleshall. She sold giving 40kg to D and HE Colclough and Son, Sandbach.

The University of Reading received £1980 for a similarly aged cow giving 45kg that had calved four weeks previously. She travels south to Gee Jay Farming Ltd of Wiltshire.

A good selection of 46 in-calf and served heifers were topped at £1680 for a daughter of Doorman

from Showell Farms. Backed by nine generations of VG or Ex-classified cows she had been served in June to sexed Granite, to GR Thomas, Carmarthenshire.

Averages: All breeds – 52 cows £1372.06; 204 milking heifers £1412.88; 46 served heifers £1161.52; 62 maiden heifers £794.03.

Auctioneers: Wright Marshall