STAGS of South Molton report another excellent number of prime lambs again this week and an improved trade from start to finish.

Once again the larger amount of heavy, thick lambs are becoming harder and harder to sell as the sale progressed. Best trade was for the leaner 42-46kg continental bred lambs which were all generally 190ppk plus.

Very few lambs sold below the £78 mark and a noticeable better trade for the real heavy lambs. Top of the day at £107 to 68kg Texel crosses from Mr W Smale of North Molton who sold similar weight pens to £104. £99 to a 70kg Pure Suffolk ram lamb from Mr FC Reed & Son of North Molton, closely followed at £98.50 to 62kg Texel crosses from Messrs AD & SM Bray of Knowstone.

£97.50 to 58kg Charollais crosses from Mrs M Tapp of South Molton with £97 hit four times; the first to 60kg Charollais crosses from Mr WI Thorne & Son of Ashreigney; the second to 63kg Texel crosses from Mr RW Tapp & Son of Molland; the third to 62kg Texel crosses again from Mr Smale and the fourth to 60kg Texel crosses again from Messrs Bray as well.

£96 twice; the first to 57.2kg Suffolk crosses again from Mr Smale along with 55kg Texel crosses again from the Tapp Family. £95.20 to 55kg Suffolk crosses from Messrs DW & J Jones of Heasley Mill with £94 three times; the first to 57kg Suffolk crosses from Messrs Lucas & Ridge of Chulmleigh; the second to 55.2kg Texel crosses from Messrs Roberts & Phillips of Dulverton and the third to 57.2kg Suffolk crosses again from the Bray Family.

Best pens to 203ppk for 40kg Texel crosses from Mr D Fergie of Ash Mill with 199ppk twice; the first to 45kg Pure Texels from Mr FC Reed & Son of North Molton and the second to 39.5kg Charollais crosses from Messrs RJ & J Ridd of East Buckland. 198ppk to 40kg Texel crosses from Messrs S & J Bale of Challacombe with 197ppk to 39kg Suffolk crosses from Mr M Bray of Knowstone. 196ppk twice; the first to 41kg Charollais crosses from Mr WI Thorne & Son of Ashreigney and the second to 41.5kg Charollais crosses from Messrs WH & JC Hayes of Twitchen.

195ppk also hit twice; the first to 41.5kg Texel crosses from Mr G Mills & Partners Ltd of Witheridge and the second to 43kg Pure Texel again from Mr Reed. 193ppk to 42kg Charollais and Suffolk crosses again from the Mill Family with 192ppk four times; the first to 41.2kg Texel crosses from Messrs MH & CJ Reed of Kings Nympton; the second to 40.7kg Texel crosses from Mr JE Blackmore of Brayford; the third to 42.1kg Suffolk crosses from Messrs DL & JM Bray & Son of Knowstone and the fourth to 45.7kg Charollais crosses from Messrs Govier & Son of South Molton.

191ppk six times; the first and second pens to 42-44kg Suffolk and Charollais crosses from Messrs CP & CA Guscott of Dulverton; the third to 41.4kg Texel crosses from Mr D Farr of Yarnscombe; the fourth to 44kg Texel crosses again from the Reed Family; the fifth to 42.2kg Charollais crosses again from Messrs Ridd and the sixth to 45.6kg Texel crosses from Mr DP Kiff of Muddiford.

A smaller number of cull sheep then previous weeks which was surprising following last weeks jump in trade. Trade was again strong with ewes generally another £1-2 per head dearer than last week. There are definitely more buyers looking for ewes and it would appear that numbers are beginning to get shorter. Best trade for the leaner, half meat ewes with buyers still discounting the really fat ewes.

Best Suffolks all generally £85 plus and most best Mule pens were over the £70 mark. Grazing and plain ewes getting more sought after and generally £45 - £65 per head. Topping the day at £96 for a grand Suffolk Mule from Messrs A & S Hoskin of Bishops Nympton with £95 to further blackfaces from Messrs Easterbrook & Partners of Yarnscombe.

£94 to Suffolk crosses from Messrs Govier & Son of South Molton with two super pens of Suffolk Mules from Mr WB Manley & Son of Hemyock at £93. £91 twice; both to Suffolk pens from Messrs Easterbrook again and Messrs Mildon & Ley of Bishops Nympton.

£90 to Texels from Mrs JM Barton of Cullompton with £89 hit three times; the first to Texels from Messrs CJ & LM Hill of Yarnscombe; the second to Suffolks from Messrs Lucas & Ridge of Chulmleigh and the third to further blackfaces from Mr LJ Let & Partners of Goodleigh.

£88.50 to further Texel crosses from Messrs Hill with Suffolks from Messrs Govier & Son again at £87.50 whose pen of Texels followed closely at £86.50. £85.50 to Mr Ley & Partners’ second pen of Suffolks with further Texels from Mrs Barton at £85, the same money as Suffolk Mules from Mr D Farr of Yarnscombe. Best rams to £80 for a Suffolk cross from Mr RH Kenn of Bideford.

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