As expected, the Chemical Regulations Directorate has approved the emergency authorisation of Asulam.

Welcoming the decision, Alyn Smith MEP said: "This is a sensible step which will allow our farmers and land managers to manage the spread of bracken while the efforts to seek the proper authorisation for this chemical proceed.

"Asulam is an important tool for our land managers and alternatives on the market have so far not proved convincing. The full authorisation process for using Asulam in this manner remains under consideration and I will be monitoring developments carefully to ensure that we do all that is possible to see that Asulam receives this full authorisation."

Harrison & Hetherington sold 133 store heifers in Lockerbie on Tuesday to a top of 270.8p per kg and an average of 207p (+3.1p on the previous sale), while 180 store bullocks peaked at 280.6p and levelled at 218.1p (-4.5p). Seven young bulls sold to 216.7p and averaged 184.1p.

The Cumberland & Dumfriesshire Farmers' Mart had 3276 store hoggs and feeding ewes, as well as 707 in-lamb ewes forward at Longtown on Tuesday.

Trade for hoggs was much dearer on the week with the overall average levelling at £51.11. Top prices and averages: Beltex to £76.50 and averaged £62.91; Suffolks £73.50 and £53.11; Texels £74.50 and £57.23; Greyfaces £54.50 and £43.89; Hill Cheviots £62.50 and £41.05; Blackfaces £57.50 and £43.59.

The 707 in-lamb sheep included a dispersal of 236 Blackfaces from A&E Brown & Son, Ashietiel, Clovenford, Galashiels, that sold to £71 and averaged £64.83.

Wallets Marts sold 1915 prime hoggs in Castle Douglas on Tuesday to a top of £85 per head and 195.8p per kg to average 161p.

There were 277 cast sheep forward with ewes selling to £79 for Texels and overall average levelling at £50.38.

Craig Wilson sold 35 prime heifers at Ayr on Tuesday to a top of 235p and an average of 216.3p, while seven prime bullocks peaked 218p and levelled at 210.2p. Two young bulls averaged 210.7p.

In the rough ring, 46 beef cows averaged 146.6p and 81 dairy cows levelled at 114.1p. Eight bulls averaged 147.2p.

A show of 21 dairy cattle were harder to cash as better weather kept buyers away. Top price of the day was £2100 for a Holstein heifer with the sale average levelling at £1687 (-£50).

The firm went on to sell 1258 prime hoggs in Newton Stewart yesterday to a top of £89 and 207.3p and an average of 167.1p (+3.9p).

A smaller show of 156 cast sheep met a similar trade to last week with ewes selling to £99 for Texels and £56 for Blackfaces.