By Alec Ross

NFU Scotland has welcomed the news that the seed potato trade between Scotland and Northern Ireland will re-open on September 30.

Pre-Brexit, Scotland sold an estimated 22,000 tonnes to European customers, but the opening of the so-called “green channels” outlined in the Windsor Framework will allow the resumption of trade with Northern Ireland.

Brexit, however, means that trade with Europe has ceased, leading the union to urge the UK Government to resolve the impasse.

NFU Scotland Vice President Andrew Connon said: “The 30th of September marks the reopening of the Northern Irish market for our high health stock and creates the opportunity for our growers to re-establish links with a place where our Scottish seed potatoes will be in demand.

"But the overnight cessation of trade with Europe was very damaging, so we will continue to lobby both the UK Government and the EU to re-establish this hugely important trading link. Common sense and commercial reality must prevail over political gamesmanship”.


Breeding sheep at Campbeltown on Saturday topped £1,000 twice, first for a Bluefaced Leicester shearling from Dalbhraddan that sold to Messrs Ralston, and then for a Suffolk shearling from Highbank Park that sold to High Cattadale.

Breeding females sold well, with gimmers peaking at £200 for Blackies from Brennanlea and ewes selling to £215 for Bluefaced Leicesters from Dalbhraddan. Ewe lambs peaked at £80 for Blackies from Coulinlongart.

A large consignment of store lambs at Carlisle on Monday met with demand and averaged £81/head, with well-fleshed lambs proving easy to cash and smaller lambs easing on the week. Mules sold to £96/head for Messrs Haigh, Whitehaven, with Suffolks from Beech Trees reaching £98/head.

Calves at Ayr on Tuesday sold to £720 for a Limousin cross heifer from Holm, with bull calves selling to £700 for a Limousin cross from the same home. Stirks peaked at £1,400 for a Limousin cross bull from Meoul, while heifers averaged 301p/kg or £1,666/head.

Tuesday also saw grass fed cattle at Longtown peaking at £1,340 for a British Blue bullock from Skiddaw View, with Angus bullocks reaching £1,320 for Penchrise and heifers from Stonehouse selling to £1,270 for Herefords.

It was mainly larger prime lambs that met with demand at Dumfries yesterday, with 52kg+ types averaging 230p/kg and selling to 240p/kg for Texels from Collochan. A large consignment of cast sheep sold to £158/head for Texel tups from Rigghead, and to £155/head for Texel ewes from Druidhall.