The Northern Beltex Club launched a prime lamb competition at three North East marts this summer with the aim of highlighting market trends for Beltex-sired lambs.
The three participating marts were Acklington, Hexham and Wooler. Each offered a £50 prize for the pen of five or more lambs sired by a registered Beltex ram achieving the highest p/kg price each month from July to September.
At Acklington Mart in July, the top price of 302p/kg was set at its summer show and sale of prime sheep by the champion pen of five 42kg lambs from Fiona Mellor, Beadnell, Northumberland.
Fiona achieved top price again in August at 224p/kg for 44kg lambs and the September prize was won by Jackie Ions, of Hemelspeth, Felton, with a pen of 43kg at 217p/kg.
Colin Smith auctioneer at Acklington, said: “We are procuring an increasing number of Beltex x lambs to meet demand.
“Our buyers always have orders for lambs which are full of meat with the high killing out percentage which Beltex x lambs consistently provide.”
At Wooler Livestock Centre in July, 283p/kg was achieved for a pen of 37kg lambs sold by HN Howard and Son, Alnwick, Northumberland.
In August a price of 222.4p/kg was top for a pen of 38kg lambs from Messrs SH Spours & Sons, Henlaw, Chatton.
The same vendor achieved the highest price in September with a pen of 31 lambs weighing 41kg averaging 203.7p/kg.
Hexham Mart August winner was Andrew Reay, Westmoor Houses, Matfen, with a pen of lambs weighing 43kg and which sold for 216p/kg.
September’s highest price was Phillip Robson, Middle Horsleyhope, Waskerley, Consett, with a pen of 39kg lambs that sold for 209p/kg.
Beltex Sheep Society chairwoman Maimie Paterson said: “Beltex cross lambs continue to grow in popularity with Northern commercial producers, who are switching on to the premiums paid in the live ring for their superior carcase quality and high killing out percentage.
“Following success with similar ventures in other regions,we launched the competition to highlight the market trends, reward those who are already using aregistered Beltex ram, and toencourage others to reap the rewards themselves.”