More than 250 buyers descend on Stephen Cobbald’s farm at Acton Hall for ‘poignant’ dispersal sale

Around 450 lots went under the hammer at Acorn Farms, at Acton Hall, near Sudbury, on June 24, as fa

Around 450 lots went under the hammer at Acorn Farms, at Acton Hall, near Sudbury, on June 24, as farmer Stephen Cobbald sold up the bulk of his agricultural machinery in a dispersal sale. - Credit: Chris Lockwood

More than 250 buyers from all over the country and abroad descended on a Suffolk farm on Saturday, June 24, as hundreds of lots went under the hammer at a major dispersal auction.

Around 450 lots went under the hammer at Acorn Farms, at Acton Hall, near Sudbury, on June 24, as fa

Around 450 lots went under the hammer at Acorn Farms, at Acton Hall, near Sudbury, on June 24, as farmer Stephen Cobbald sold up the bulk of his agricultural machinery in a dispersal sale. - Credit: Chris Lockwood

Prominent sheep and arable farmer Stephen Cobbald, 72, of Acorn Farms, Acton Hall, near Sudbury, decided it was time to sell up the bulk of his agricultural machinery and set in place a less hands-on regime on the farm.

Auctioneer Peter Crichton said there had been a “huge” turnout, resulting in a record sale total due to the high quality and well maintained condition of all the lots.

“Tractors, vehicles and combine star of the show was a 2009 Claas Lexion 570+ combine with 1,528 drum hours recorded, selling for a top price of the day for £75,000,” he said.

“A quality selection of tractors included a 2013 MF7276 Dyna 6 model with 2,512 hours recorded and in immaculate condition selling for £47,500, followed by a 2010 JD 6930 with 5,390 hours recorded which sold at £31,750 and a Ford 8210 with 7,560 hours made £9,350; an elderly 1980s Volvo loading shovel fetched £2,100 and a 2008 Kubota Mule £4,600.”

Stephen Cobbald of Acton Hall with his collie dogs.

Stephen Cobbald of Acton Hall with his collie dogs. - Credit: Peter Crichton

Among the cultivating and arable equipment, the top price paid was £46,500 for a SAM SLC4000 self-propelled sprayer with a 24m reach.

“Buyers were spoilt for choice as far as high quality, modern cultivation machinery was concerned, with a top price of £14,400 paid for a Vaderstad 6m Aggressive NZ spring tine cultivator, followed by £14,100 for a Vaderstad Top Down 490 4m cultivator; a Simba X-Press 6.5m cultivator made £13,600,” he said.

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A “useful” selection of trailers resulted in a top price of £12,150 for a Richard Western 16t bulk tipping trailer, £4,500 for

Marston 10t flatbed trailer, an Ifor Williams 12ft livestock trailer £2,000, a Legg 12t trailer £2,600 and other trailers at £1,200 downwards.

“All in all, a poignant day and the end of an era for Stephen who started farming at Acton Hall on his own account 49 years ago but can now concentrate on promoting farming to the younger generation and training young farmers in sheep husbandry and working with sheep dogs,” said Peter. Stephen is continuing with his pedigree Texel and Suffolk Sheep and his commercial sheep operation.