A new record price for a single lamb was set at the Steinish auction mart on Wednesday (August 22nd) as the highest number of lambs ever booked for an August sale went through the pens.
3,836 store lambs and feeding sheep were sold through Lewis and Harris Mart, with Dingwall and Highland Marts conducting the sale. Mart director Kenny Macleod said “We saw the previous top price for a lamb, £70, equalled by a Suffolk Cross from 13 Upper Barvas, and a few minutes later the record was broken, with £71 paid for a Texel cross from 11 New Shawbost.”
Despite the new centre record, prices in general were down on last year by an average of £5 per head. Mainland buyers were shy of paying top prices due to the dry conditions, which have made feeding difficult across the Minch. Kenny said: “There’s a national trend that a lot of people who buy lambs this year have little grass to feed them. They would usually have cut the grass and hay, but they are late this year and there’s nowhere with good grass to keep lambs.”
Nearly all the lambs which came to market were sold on Wednesday, with other top prices paid for Cheviot lambs, up to £66 for a lamb from 1 Back, £57.50 for a blackface from 28 Lower Barvas and £52.50 for cross lambs from 34 Shawbost.
Kenny said a sale yesterday (Thursday August 23rd) in Dingwall had seen a slight improvement in prices, but in general prices were expected to be down across the board this year.
The next sale at Steinish is the biggest sale of the year, the sale of lambs and sheep on Wednesday 12th September.
Online booking is open now at http://www.lewisandharrisauctionmart.co.uk