9 February 1996

Cold snap puts zip into culls

CULL cow values have risen in recent weeks, with prices averaging 77.4p/kg in the week ending Feb 5.

At Uttoxeter, auctioneer Stephen Egerton says the cold weather has improved meat sales and prompted demand.

Last Wednesday, Uttoxeter saw 253 cows average a "respectable" 77p/kg. But the quality of entries has not improved, says Mr Egerton.

Demand is particularly strong for 600kg-plus cows, so farmers should try and get them to this weight before marketing them, he advises.

Marketings could now increase as farmers try to control production. But farmers are not in as bad a position regarding oversupply as last year, he believes.

Similarly at Beeston, auctioneer Stephen Welch – who saw 470 culls average 82p/kg last Friday – says numbers could now rise as April approaches.

Auctioneer David Lock at Yeovil, meanwhile, is not expecting any marked increase in numbers. "A lot of people have already made adjustments to their herds."

But he questions whether the recent increases – 8p/kg over the last three weeks – can be sustained.