LAMBS reared in Staffin were among the leading prices at the island’s first sale of the season.
In one of the most crucial days in the calendar for Staffin crofters, Dingwall and Highland Marts sold more than 2,870 lambs and ewes in Portree ring on Monday (22.8).
The Staffin lambs were coveted by buyers despite the poor weather in the latter part of the summer and is testament to the district’s reputation for producing quality store lambs. The average price was £44.90 – which was £2.84 up on the same sale year – although there were a higher number of animals sold. The fall in the value of sterling has helped the industry prices.
Store lambs, and calves, are generally produced in Staffin and on the west coast. Crofters generally don’t have the ground or autumn grazing/feeding needed to turn out or “finish” lambs which are ready for the slaughterhouse. Staffin lambs are generally bought by dealers from Aberdeenshire, Easter Ross, Morayshire and even as far afield as Cumbria, who will then fatten them up.
The top price at Portree was an excellent £62.50 for a pen of Texel X lambs sold by Donald Alec Ross, Marrishadder. Stewart Clark, of Strathmore, Stenscholl, was close behind and sold his Texel crosses for £62.
In the Cheviot, Steve Poole, of 1/2 6 Brogaig, fetched £61 for his lambs and Iain MacLeod, of 28 Stenscholl, got £57.50 for his Suffolk X lambs.
The second Dingwall and Highland mart lamb sale in Portree is a week on Monday, September 5. A summary of the leading prices from Monday, per head: Texel X lambs – Strathmore, Staffin, £62, 8,14 & 15 Struanmore, Struan & 5 Holmisdale, Glendale, £61, 2 Drummuie, Portree, £59; Cheviot lambs – ½ of 6 Brogaig, Staffin, £61 (twice), 9 Carbost, Carbost, £59.50, 5 Drummuie, Portree, £59; Suffolk X lambs – Tigh Gael, Portree & 20 Borve, Skeabost Bridge, £60, 4 Peiness, Portree & 1 Waterstein, Glendale, £59, 32 Mains, Bernisdale & 28 Stenscholl, Staffin, £57.50; Beltex X lambs – 15 Glenconon, Uig, £60; Cross lambs – 3 Borreraig Parks, Dunvegan, £59; Charollais x lambs – 2 Totescore, Portree, £55.50.