10 April 1998

Scottish grass keep still down

GRASS let prices in Scotland continue to run about 20% down on the year.

At Stirling, United Auctions let 866 acres to average £57/acre, down £12 on 1997. The drop was as anticipated and in line with earlier deals further south.

In the Borders, Jack Clark from St Boswells Mart reported that more than 2000 acres had averaged £76/acre, which was down 20% on the year. "LFA lets almost maintained last years prices especially if they included stock handling facilities," said Mr Clark.

At nearby Reston Auction Mart, good quality grass averaged £94/acre, which was down £35 on the year, but still almost £4 ahead of 1996.

Close on 2000 acres was being let in Perthshire this week and auctioneer David Leggat expected a fall of about 20%.

"That seems to be the general trade this year, a reflection of the lack of confidence in the livestock sector," he said.

lFor full round-up of this years grasskeep deals south of the border, see Stock and Sales next week. &#42