By Neale McQuistin

The recent jump in grass growth had a positive impact on the trade for 162 breeding sheep at Messrs Craig Wilson’s sale at Ayr yesterday. With a good show of hoggets with lambs at foot on offer all types were very easy to sell. Top price was £206 for a pen of Mule hoggs rearing twin lambs, while Mule hoggs with singles sold to £184 on two occasions. Texel hoggs with singles sold to £170.

The firm also sold 132 prime and cast cattle at their sale at Ayr on Tuesday. Prime cattle were dearer again this week when 14 prime heifers sold to a top of £1386 for a Limousin and to 243p/kg for another Limousin to average £1219 or 222p overall. Three prime bullocks peaked at £1426 or 230p for a Limousin to level at £1379 or 226p.

In the rough ring quality was better this week and the trade was firm. Sixty-one cast beef cows sold to £1280 for an Aberdeen Angus or 177p for a Limousin to average 130p overall, while 42 cast dairy cows peaked at £1060 and 157p for the same Friesian to level at 115p. Three cast bulls sold to £1360 for an Aberdeen Angus or 179p for a Charolais to average 136p, while 9 clean, OTM cattle peaked at £1280 for an Aberdeen Angus bullock or 193p for a Simmental heifer to average 152p.

Four dairy cattle sold to £1900 for a Holstein Friesian heifer, while cows sold to £1750.

C&D Auction Marts Ltd sold 64 cattle at their sale of primestock in Dumfries yesterday. Prime cattle values increased this week to 238p/kg for a Limousin cross heifer with others to 230p. OTM's met a much sharper trade with cast beef cows selling to £1296 for an Aberdeen Angus and to 192p for a Limousin to average 140p, while cast dairy cows peaked at 130p and averaged 107p.

There were also 416 prime sheep at the sale which included 200 Spring lambs which would ease back slightly on the week. Beltex sold to £118 and Texels to £116. The one hundred and four prime hoggs were a mixed show which also returned lower prices on the week. Top price was £89 for Texels. One hundred and forty-eight cast ewes were also easier on the week - peaking at £112 for Texels and Blackfaces to £57.

The firm also held their fortnightly sale of store cattle at Longtown on Tuesday. The entry was mainly native-bred yearlings however, the sale was topped by continentals at £875 for a pen of Simmental bulls with the same vendor also selling Beef Shorthorns to £815. Bullocks sold to £770 for Aberdeen Angus with Angus heifers to £795.