FEW years have been as buoyant for the sheep sector as 2020 and no breed encapsulates that more so than the Texel, with the breed experiencing a truly record breaking year.
Not only did the breed see a new world record price paid for a sheep when Texel ram lamb Sportsmans Double Diamond, pictured right, from the Boden family, Cheshire, sold for 350,000gns at the society’s Scottish National Sale, Lanark, in August, but record prices were also achieved for both empty and in-lamb gimmers, with a new record also set for a ewe lamb.
Setting the new 50,000gns mark for an empty gimmer was Edward Pugh, Bala, with his gimmer from the Glanllyn flock, while Procters Farm, Lancashire, sold the record priced in-lamb gimmer from the Procters flock at 46,000gns.
Meanwhile, taking the new top call for a ewe lamb at 20,000gns were Donald MacPherson and family from their Hexel flock, Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Texel Sheep Society chief executive John Yates said that while 2020 had presented many challenges as a result of Covid-19, it had been a tremendous year for the sheep industry and that had been reflected at all levels within the Texel breed.
“These headline prices are just the tip of the iceberg, with exceptional demand for both pedigree Texels and Texel sired crossbred stock across the UK. All of this was fed by a rampant demand for quality prime lambs throughout 2020, with prices barely dipping below £2/kg throughout the year.
“This was reflected at breeding stock sales the length and breadth of the country which saw Texel cross females eagerly sought after and Texel rams achieving top prices at many centres.”
Regional records were also set with a new 40,000gns record price paid for a Texel gimmer at a Northern Irish sale, sold by Alan Blackwood at the Northern Stars Sale, Ballymena. The same sale saw a new record for a gimmer bred in Northern Ireland too, with Alastair Gault taking 26,000gns.
Mr Yates said many Texel sales had seen record averages achieved alongside exceptional clearance rates, including the society’s English National Sale, Worcester, which saw a new record average of £1,905 set for shearling rams. “The same was true at the Northern Irish National Sale, Ballymena, where a 98 per cent clearance rate was achieved in the shearling rams with a record average of £919.89 set.
“Despite the society taking the decision to reduce entry levels at all four National Sales due to Covid-19 restrictions and to ensure the safety of all concerned, the four National Sales grossed a new record of £2,047,433, with all of them increasing revenues compared to 2019 figures,” he added.
Mr Yates said the confidence felt among the commercial sheep sector had fed back up the supply chain as commercial farmers were prepared to dig deep to secure the breeding stock they needed to add value to their future lamb crops and their businesses as a whole.
“Texels continue to deliver at all levels of the supply chain for both the domestic and export trade, with their high meat to bone ratio making them a firm favourite for butchers, processors and exporters.”
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