Strong demand at pig equipment sale despite challenging times for sector

Five Rotafeeders realised from £1,800 to £5,500.

Five Rotafeeders realised from £1,800 to £5,500. - Credit: Archant

A major sale of equipment from a 1,000 sow outdoor pig herd in west Suffolk last weekend attracted buyers from as far afield as the Midlands, Yorkshire and the West County.

The MX tractor which made £22,000 and the straw chopper which sold for £5,400.

The MX tractor which made £22,000 and the straw chopper which sold for £5,400. - Credit: Archant

The sale, held at Firstfield Farm, Coney Weston, near Bury St Edmunds, by kind permission of the Euston Estate, also attracted “virtually every local outdoor pig producer known to man”, said auctioneer Peter Crichton, who conducted the sale on behalf of Spurgeon Pigs Ltd.

As a result, and despite the financial challenges currently facing the sector, prices were firm from start to finish, with the generally high quality of the equipment – much of which was originally supplied by Harvey Engineering and between five and 12 years old – also a factor in the success of the sale.

The size of the sale meant that more than 1,150 lots came under the hammer but selling was still completed within two-and-three-quarter hours. A selection of more than 100 Harvey 20ft x 10ft jumbo arcs sold readily, with values according to quality and age, with a top price of £600 and the majority selling for between £200 and £500 to an overall average of £323 each. An unused 32ft x 20ft John Harvey pig tent was sold after strong competition for £2,150.

A huge selection of 318 Harvey farrowing arcs in varying condition saw a wide range of prices, with more modern ones fetching up to £300 each with those nearing the end of their working life down to £30, but in the main, the older arcs made between £45 and £110 and the newer ones from £120 upwards, with an overall average of £126.51.

A total of 330 fenders were sold separately from the farrowing arcs and met a generally strong demand despite, in some cases, being in well used condition, with prices ranging from £18 to £45 per fender to average £37.50 per lot.

Also easily sold, with prices according to their condition, were 270 wallows, ranging from £22 to £42. Smaller items included cube drinkers selling at £42 per set of five, electric fencing stakes from £28 to £32 per 25, and groups of 8ft Harvey hurdles, mostly selling for between £170 and £400 for sets of between 12 to 20 hurdles but with older, smaller ones at more of a discount.

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A choice selection of no fewer than five Peter Allen Rotafeeders saw a top price paid of £5,500 for an almost new 3t model, with a 6t double hopper Rotafeeder selling at £3,600, two 4t editions each making £2,050 and an older 3t example £1,800.

A modern 16ft Hydralift trailer realised £4,250 and 20t bulk bins made up to £1,350.

Tractors and farm machinery included a 2013 Claas Scorpion 7030 telehandler with 2,600 hours recorded, selling at £31,000, a similar 2012 model with 4,000 hours which made £29,500, muck grabs to fit telehandlers, which sold for between £400 and £880, telehandler 500kg front buckets which made £300 and a 1,000kg Tiptoe model, £540.

An extremely tidy and well maintained 2012 MF5440 4WD tractor found a new owner at £22,000 and a Teagle big bale 2012 straw mill realised £5,400. a

A useful selection of surplus pig equipment from Harvey Engineering was sold as included lots and met plenty of demand with individual farrowing feeders selling to £120 each, combination pairs of wet and dry farrowing feeders to £210, long troughs (in kit form) £60 each and fully assembled long troughs between £130 and £190 in the main, with 1t wiggle feeders selling at £260 each and nipple drinker bars to £110 per set.

The sale was the last of the year for Peter Crichton, who is based in Bury, and brought his number of auctions for 2015 to 12. Together they have involved more than 9,000 lots, and he is anticipating a busy time again in 2016, with provisional bookings already for two farm machinery auctions and one outdoor pig equipment sale as well as the regular Wetherden and Hall Farm, Fornham collective auctions.