14 April 2000

Variable values for grass-keep

GRASS-KEEP values continue to show a patchy trade. Increases in grazing being offered in some areas have undermined the price for poorer pasture, but the better lots are still commanding over £100/acre.

Competition in some parts of the south-west saw eager bidding at Stags collective grass keep auction recently, reports Michael Powell. In keenly sought after areas, averages were up around the £100/acre mark showing increases of between 17%-24%. Unfertilised ground was let at £94/acre and that to which an initial dressing had been applied at £102/acre.

More modest bids secured grass-keep in the West Midlands when Bagshaws auctioned 1000 acres at its annual grass eating auction at Uttoxeter market. Prices were mainly between £50-82/acre, although a top bid of £102/acre was taken for a sought-after 27 acre patch.

Stark reality has hit some Scottish vendors faced with an number of dairy producers moving away from production. Increases in lettings have cut up to £35/acre off poorer pasture as better ground becomes available, says Tom Robertson of James Craig Ltd. Overall, the most recent auction saw averages down to £56/acre. &#42