Dairy cow trade remains very selective, with prices for best quality fresh calvers holding firm but second quality stock more difficult to place.
According to auctioneer Gwilym Richards, the late spring was still having a big impact on demand. “Grass growth is four to six weeks behind – it has finally decided to grow so no doubt trade will turn around in the next two to four weeks,” he said.
Good quality fresh calved heifers were fetching up to £2,000, with second quality cows at about £1,500, he said. “Everybody is chasing milk, so where people are in a position to buy, there is good trade.” However, TB was having a big impact on supply, as farmers had to wait for a clear test before marketing their cows.
“There’s not much forward planning taking place – generally numbers forward are about the same as last year, but there has been a shortage of farm dispersal sales because producers can’t get clear of TB.” Although some industry pundits were predicting a sharp increase in sales due to poor profitability, Mr Richards said he had not seen any evidence of this.