The increasing costs of both straw and feed have being felt heavily, although not unexpectedly, at a number of recent store cattle sales with many sales back more than £50/head on last year’s trade.

At Dingwall on Wednesday trade fell by an average of £74.84 on last year’s prices, equivalent to a 20p/kg drop on prices.

Meanwhile, at Stirling on Monday suckled calf trade was back too, with the 416 bullocks averaging 176.1p/kg, back some 14p/kg on the year, while the 418 heifers traded fell by 18p/kg to level at 162.2p/kg.

At the same centre on Wednesday store cattle trade levelled at 149.04p/kg for the 1002 steers, with the 450 heifers selling to average 146p/kg.

I don’t think anyone expected the same prices as last year, but having invested heavily in both new bulls and breeding females over the last 12-18 months its likely a lot of store producers are feeling a bit of a pinch at the autumn sales.

The question now is how heavily has the confidence of these store producers been hit and will this fall in trade impact on the upcoming bull sales for all the major breeds, coupled with the breeding female sales due to be held at many marts over the coming weeks?