Market stability built since over-30-month cows returned to the open market could be threatened when the OTM scheme ends later this month, warns the English Beef and Lamb Executive.

Beef-bred older cattle have been earning 10-15p/kg liveweight above their dairy-bred counterparts.

And the best dairy sorts have commanded an 8-12p/kg premium over OTMS compensation rates.

But prices could be threatened when the “safety net” of the OTM scheme is replaced with the Older Cattle Disposal Scheme – restricted to animals born before August 1996 – potentially flooding the market with an extra 4000t of cow beef a week.