Stags of South Molton report another massive entry with a total of 2,093 new-season lambs sold.

As expected trade was back markedly on previous weeks as the lamb trade has dropped nationally throughout the week.

All buyers were present but as numbers coming forward nationally have increased they are being more selective and buying to a price. What was very noticeable was that the better trade has moved to the stronger well finished lambs that are 42-45kg; and the most noticeable drop in trade was for the leaner 39-41kg sorts. Interestingly at the same market last year the SQQ was 223ppk with 1803 lambs forward therefore so we are still in front on the year. Top of the day at £114.50 to 55kg Charollais cross from Mrs PA Stentiford of Barnstaple with £110 to 54kg Charollais crosses from Mr T Webber also of Barnstaple. £106.50 three times; the first to 51kg Charollais crosses from Messrs G & P Kivell of Ashreingey; the second to 48kg Charollais crosses from Messrs DJ & RA Woollacott of Yarnscombe and the third to 48kg Charollais crosses from Messrs GF & PJ Warne of Umberleigh. £105.20 to 46.8kg Texel crosses from Mr D Fergie of Ash Mill with £105 to 56kg Charollais crosses from Mr DEJ Nott of Kennerleigh. £104.80 to 46.5kg Lleyn crosses from Mr R Irwin of Kings Nympton with £104.50 to 47.5kg Texel crosses from Mr R Frankpitt of Chevithorne. £103.80 to 45.2kg Texel crosses from Mr AJ Dart of Chulmleigh with £103.50 to 45kg Charollais crosses from Messrs Woollacott again. £102.50 twice; the first to 44.2kg Texel crosses from Messrs White & Tucker of Pennymoor and the second to 44.5kg Texel crosses from Messrs NJ & BA Tucker of Tiverton.

Read more: South Molton Market report for Thursday, May 21

Best pens to 239ppk to 39.5kg Charollais crosses from Messrs D & J Baker of Yarnscombe with 237ppk to 40kg Charollais crosses from Messrs Irwin & Sons of Mariansleigh. 236ppk to 40.8kg Texel crosses from Messrs CJ & LM Hill of Yarnscombe with 235ppk three times; the first to 40.5kg Suffolk crosses from Mr WR Rogers & Son of Landkey; the second to 41kg Texel crosses from Mr FJ Sing of Mariansleigh and the third to 40.8kg Charollais crosses from Mr TJ Norman of Milverton. 234ppk seven times; the first to 41.3kg Charollais crosses from Mr LJ Ley & Partners of Goodleigh; the second to 41.5kg Charollais crosses from Messrs GJ & SM Down of High Bickington; the third to 40.1kg Texel crosses from Messrs TJ & JC Pincombe of Chulmleigh; the fourth, fifth and sixth pens to 41.5-42kg Texel crosses from Mr RM Norman of Wheddon Cross and the seventh to 43.5kg Suffolk crosses from Messrs Rogers again. 233ppk also achieved seven times; the first to 42kg Texel crosses from Mr JE Blackmore of Brayford; the second to 41.8kg Charollais crosses from Mr R Irwin of Kings Nympton; the third to 40.5kg Charollais crosses from Messrs GF & PJ Warne of Umberleigh; the fourth to 40.2kg Charollais crosses from Messrs RJ, GM & AJ Tucker of Umberleigh; the fifth to 40.8kg Texel crosses from Mr B Beel of Umberleigh and the sixth and seventh pens to 42kg Suffolk crosses and 41.2kg Charollais crosses from Mr G Mills & Partners Ltd of Witheridge.

A smaller entry as the hogg season comes toward its natural end. Trade definitely easier with most abattoirs now changed over to the new season lambs. Best trade for the thicker and heavier sorts with little demand for the lighter, leaner types. Top of the day at £109 to 59kg Texel crosses from Mr WJ Crocker & Sons of Okehampton with 64kg Texel crosses from Messrs Beer Brothers of Warkleigh. £105.50 to 64kg Charollais crosses from Messrs Milton & Thorne of Molland with £103 to 62kg Texel crosses from Messrs CJ & SJ Dart of Bishops Nympton.

An excellent number of cull sheep forward this week which was similar to last week. Again a very similar trade with the better trade for the leaner ewes and buyers still very wary of the ‘thicker’ sorts. At the same market last year the ewes averaged £67.30 with 466 being sold. The overall average today was £65.34 with again a very mixed entry. There were some good runs of Suffolk Mules which were generally sold between the £72-£77 mark and the best Mules were £55-£58. It is anticipated that the ewe numbers will continue to come as the grass situation on every farm in the country worsens. Topping the day at £124 to a Charollais from Messrs CJ & SJ Dart of Bishops Nympton with Pure Texels from Mr J Thorne of Barnstaple. £98 to Charollais’ from Mrs S May of Ashford who also had a pen of Suffolks to £94. £93.50 to Pure Texels from Mrs CA Smale of North Molton with £89.50 to Charollais crosses from Messrs MT & JA Folland of Roborough. £88 to Charollais’ from Messrs D & J Baker of Yarnscombe with £87 twice; the first to Texel crosses from Mr PG Brown of East Worlington and the second to Blue Faced Leicester’s from Mr RF Rawle of Parracombe. £85 to Texel crosses from Mr CN Williams of Withypool. £82 and £80.50 to Suffolk Mules from Mr J Edwards of Yarnscombe. Best rams to £114 to a Texel from Mr G Dart & Sons of Molland with similar rams from Messrs Milton & Thorne of Molland at £98.

Meshaw Juniors, Meshaw Seniors, North Molton, Anstey and Chulmleigh Young Farmers Clubs were represented at this years Show & Sale of couples. A mixed entry of predominantly FM and BM Mules with Texel cross lambs at foot were kindly judged by Mr Robert Hopper of Tiverton who awarded Overall Champion to Mr George Govier of Meshaw YFC. His pen of two FM Mules looking well with five well grown lambs between them reaching £210. Reserve Champion went to Miss Emma Sing also of Meshaw YFC who had two double couples sell to £195. Other prices included to £208 for doubles from Mr Jamie Webber of Meshaw YFC; £200 for Mr Mark Phillips of Chulmleigh with a single and double. A buoyant trade was seen throughut for what was a mixed entry with numerous broken mouthed ewes amongst Our thanks for to the judge Mr Robert Hooper, Susan Hoskin for organising the day, North Devon Group of Young Farmers and all purchasers for their kind support of the sale.