Farmers welcome return of full line up of ram sales

This year's breeding sheep sale season is fast approaching following a year of cancellations
This year's breeding sheep sale season is fast approaching following a year of cancellations

Vendors and buyers are set to return to ram sales this summer and autumn following a turbulent year of cancellations and delays.

The Covid-19 pandemic had caused the cancellation of some of the sector's popular National Sheep Association (NSA) sales last year.

With this year's breeding sheep sale season approaching, the NSA Wales & Border Ram Sales, NSA South West Ram Sale and NSA Eastern Region Ram Sales are preparing to welcome back vendors and buyers.

Kicking off the season will be the NSA Wales & Border Early Ram Sale at the Royal Welsh Showground, Builth Wells on 2 August.

This first sale at Builth since 2019 will feature top quality breeding stock from a range of breeds.

It will be followed later in the season by the return of the NSA Wales & Border Main Ram Sale on 20 September.

The main sale is recognised as a significant force in the UK sheep industry, with around 30 sheep breeds represented, more than 5,000 rams on sale and, pre-Covid, an attendance of around 7,000 people.

Also taking place in August will be both the NSA South West Ram Sale on 18 August at Exeter Livestock Centre and the NSA Eastern Region Rugby Sale on 27 August.

The NSA South West Sale continues to attract a growing number of vendors and buyers, growing steadily through its 30-year history.

NSA Eastern Region is looking ahead to another sale at Rugby Livestock Market, again providing opportunity for producers to get the first pick of the season’s offering and time to integrate tups into their system at home.

The second sale of the region will take place on 17 September, working alongside Melton Mowbray Market.

NSA chief executive Phil Stocker said the sector body was 'thrilled' to have five of its most popular and valued ram sales back.

"Our NSA ram sale committees work hard year-round to ensure these sales run smoothly and successfully," he added.

"We are very pleased that Covid-19 restrictions appear to be easing sufficiently for them to run as usual once again.”