Wednesday, 15 July, 1998

by FWi staff

DEMAND for suckler cows continues to be buoyant, with values higher than last year.

Prices are “not where they were once – but higher than they have been,” said Norman Tweddle of auctioneers Bagshaws. Cows with calves are still making £600 or more, with the best making in excess of £900.

Alan Mummery of auctioneers Lambert and Foster saw good interest when breeding cattle went under the hammer at a dispersal sale last Thursday at Lovehurst Manor Farm, Staplehurst, Kent.

Bidding reached £615 for a Simmental-cross cow with a spring-born calf at foot. Such outfits are typically making £100 more than those with heifer calves which do not attract beef subsidy payments.

The ongoing increase in demand is fuelled by farmers attracted by the suckler cow premium payments. The subsidy is one of the few guaranteed sources of income at a time when beef prices remain in the doldrums. It is particularly attractive to farmers who traditionally buy store cattle, said Mr Mummery.