Royal Welsh Show: Flood of dairy cull cows ‘unlikely to hurt trade’

A possible influx of dairy cull cows to the market as a result of the milk price crisis is unlikely to affect trade, say auctioneers.

Speaking to Farmers Weekly at the Royal Welsh Show, auctioneer John Uffold from McCartneys of Ludlow said the demand for cull cows had been extremely strong because of the recession and an increase in numbers marketed was unlikely to affect trade.

“Because of the shortage of meat in general, the trade has remained strong. It’s the cheaper cuts that are easy to sell, and mince consumption is going up,” he added.

He said the real impact of dairy farmers leaving the industry would be felt by beef suckler producers looking to buy dairy cross beef heifers as replacements, and finishers buying steers.

This concern was echoed by Hybu Cig Cymru industry information officer John Richards. “If there is a move away from dairy, people will have to think about breeding their own replacements. But that’s good for health reasons and being able to select cattle for breeding,” he said.

These comments were reinforced by the Livestock Auctioneers Association, which said it expected buoyant dairy cull prices to hold firm.

Top prices for the best black-and-white cattle, exceeding 140p/kg lw, were typical and demand was set to continue to outstrip supply.

Auctioneer Huw Evans from Carmarthen Livestock Centre said there were plenty of buyers at market ready to pay a good price for quality cattle.

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