20 February 1998

Dispersals now commonplace

DAIRY dispersals will abound in the coming 12 months, as the industry continues to shrink.

So predicts auctioneers Norton and Brooksbank in the firms newly-published review of 1997.

The decline in herd numbers was highlighted by the 72 sales of black-and-white cattle the firm held last year, of which 37% were dispersals.

But the most commonly heard word in 1997 was "cohort", says the report, dubbing the selective cull an "exercise which has consigned many outstanding animals to the incinerator".

Top-quality, heavy-yielding animals with a longer working life will be needed in future as the trend toward getting more milk from fewer cows continues, it adds.