FARMERS COULD soon be receiving price information from their local market by mobile phone, thanks to a new service being launched by the Meat and Livestock Commission.

Once the service is launched on July 18, subscribers will have the data relayed to them via text message for each of the local livestock markets they have signed up for.

Joanne Knowles, senior manager at MLC economics, said farmers could opt for regional information, or prices from individual markets.

“We think it is an ideal additional way of communicating with people and giving them information that’s easy to use and direct to them,” she said.

“It is a good opportunity to launch at this time of year because the sheep sales are bringing lambs onto the market.

“The service makes it easy to see what light or middle lambs, for example, are doing and decide whether to sell or hold on for another week.”

A similar scheme launched at Welshpool market by technology partner GloverSure Ltd was deemed a success and has at least 30 subscribers, said Mrs Knowles.

Each text message would be charged at 50p, she said, adding that the service should pay for itself.

The data will become available once the MLC has received and collated price information from livestock markets.

Most prices will be texted through by the end of the day, she said, but some will have to wait until midday the following day.

To subscribe, farmers will have to text a keyword identifying the data they want to 83070.