12th September 2019
Interesting times is the way regular buyer, Arthur Edwards, describes the political tension in the run up to the NSA Wales & Border Ram Sales. But he and his brother, John, will still be there and bidding on Blue Faced Leicester rams, as they have done for very many years.
The annual ‘shopping trip’ will continue because, as Arthur says, life has to go on and the Llanelwedd sale in the third week of September is the best place to buy. There is plenty of choice of good quality, veterinary inspected tups and the brothers usually buy from the same breeders each year.
Arthur says:”We buy between three and five tups at the NSA Wales & Borders main sale every year. You get the choice and it’s only about 50 or 60 miles away.
“We do buy from regular breeders, but we prefer to go to the sale than to buy privately. You pay the market price on the day – some years we pay more than we might have expected, other years it’s less.
“We pay anything from 300 guineas to 800 guineas. But the most expensive don’t always turn out to be the best!”
The brothers always quarantine the rams for at least a week once they get them back to Glashirfryn Farm, Llanrhaeadr Ym Mochnant. They worm, check the feet and generally health test them before introducing them to the 1700 or so ewes.
The rams are put to Hardy Welsh Mountain ewes to produce Welsh Mules which are then sold as ewe lambs in Ruthin and at the Society sale in Welshpool. The farm rises 1000 to 1500 feet above sea level and also carries suckler cows.
Life is becoming ever more difficult, with costs going up and the pair buying only essentials. But they will carry on doing what they do so well.
As for the sale itself – it ‘can be a good day out’. They feel it’s easier to load up and get away since the Tup Taxis have been introduced.