Records were broken last year by a south west dairy sales team.

Greenslade Taylor Hunt (GTH) sold 13,000 cattle in then year, despite the challenges of the pandemic and its related restrictions.

The year began with the low input crossbred herd from Stuart Durston when trade exceeded expectation with 38 per cent of the cattle being bought on Marteye, the firm’s online bidding portal.

The first Holstein Dispersal of the year was for J and J Waldron had an average of more than £1,600, which set the tone for the year with a strong demand.

The spring was uniquely busy with a large amount of dispersals including organic cattle from GNB Farms, Holstein dairy herds from Kent and Sussex, the heart of the herd from Y Farms and the major 1,300 head sale for Denhay Farms.

Auctioneer Derek Biss said: “At the start of our spring sales we were unsure of the trade remaining strong, due to oversupply.

"However, with the ease of access from across the whole of the country, these large sales drew buyers from West Wales, to Shropshire to Cornwall and most counties in between.”

The Denhay Sales saw an excellent collaboration between GTH and the farm staff to enable the sale of over 1,300 cattle through Sedgemoor Auction Centre in under two weeks.

Notably, the trade continued to get stronger as the sales continued with the youngstock sale featuring incalf heifers averaging over £1,500, which at the time was far ahead of the trade elsewhere.

Auctioneer Andrew Clements said:“We were obviously very pleased to be instructed by this large estate who ceased milk production and not only did we disperse the cows we also held two machinery sales.

"The first was online to sell all of the dairy and livestock equipment, which generated an immense amount of bidding activity in the last few minutes of allocated time.

"The second was the on farm machinery sale which attracted the largest crowd we have ever seen at such a sale."

Once again crossbred dairy cattle produced one of the strongest demands of the year with trade for the Edmunds family’s dispersal of mainly Fleckvieh cross cows flying with 40 over £2,000 to top at £2,625.

The prestigious Dinnaton Sale for Derek and Jeremy Dennis from Devon generated considerable interest with buyers across the country being attracted by the generations of breeding.

The Dennis’s are regular consignors to GTH’s monthly sales and their cattle are highly regarded for having performed well in their numerous new homes.

The “Peeve” Dispersal for Paul Vicary and family travelled from Kent to an exceptional trade featuring 76 over £2,000. The theme this year has seen much larger sales with GTH conducting 12 sales over 300 head and five of them over 450 head.

The July Collective Sale was more than 400 head and featured cattle from Kent, Sussex, Oxfordshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Devon, Dorset and Somerset.

Andrew said: “These monthly sales are the ideal way of marketing any number of animals from 1-400, sharing the costs of marketing with other vendors and ensuring any purchaser can travel safely in the knowledge that they have the number and choice of cattle necessary to satisfy their requirements."

For the annual Spotlight Sale the star attraction of the day was Willsbro Tropic Sharon, part of a large consignment from the Wills Brothers she sold to the Mitchell family in partnership with Chris Martindale (Laram Holsteins) for 6400gns.

GTH said that is is extremely positive to see the animals purchased in its summer sale performing well at the National Calf Show.

This year the highest result was Stowey Altitude Glory Red who sold for 5500gns and was second in both the June - July Calf Class and also the Red and White Class.

A host of Dorset sales occupied the summer from KAM Farming, MJ Hooper and Son as well as the on farm sale at Stalbridge, Dorset, for the Jeanes family whose commercial cattle sold to 2400gns. The Hadlow Dispersal sale on behalf of North Kent College also took place.

The autumn featured three large flying herds for the Reed and Dart families and Shayes Farm LLP which all attracted good numbers of successful purchasers.

Once again the crossbreds continued to exceed expectations with the autumn calving, loose housed herd from DB Dunford and Sons drawing an exceptional crowd and a remarkable average of £1,550.

The annual Christmas Cracker Show and Sale - the culmination of 12 months of collective sales – concluded the year. The trade was electric for the fresh milk topping at 3900gns for Dryfal Adrienne who sold into Carmarthen with three over 3000gns, the cows averaged £2,371 with the heifers at almost £2,100. The online Christmas Spotlight sale topped at 5200gns with Erie Denver Savoire Fare selling to Bill Sampey from Ontario, Canada.

Auctioneer Derek Biss said: “We would like to thank all our staff and the vendors and purchasers who have supported us and made us the leading dairy auctioneers in the country.”