Farmer Focus: Cattle aren’t moving and it’s causing a backlog

Now then, another month has rolled by very quickly, the yards are full and there is a “go slow” with all the processors I supply.

There seems to be a perfect storm, which appears to have come from cattle being brought in early and put into feed lots, grass-fed cattle coming to market at the same time and maybe a slight lack of demand, all causing a backlog, and putting downward pressure on prime cattle prices.

This causes a logistical nightmare in the yards. We are a bit like a supertanker, once we get rolling we take a bit of stopping.

To alleviate this, as a temporary measure, we are going to start using “A” blocks to create pop-up pens on a spare area in the clamp.

These are concrete blocks that are easily erected and allow us to cope with the higher numbers.

See also: Step-by-step guide to foot-trimming in beef cattle

Now that the nights have drawn in I was” volunteered” to go to our local Yorkshire-based supermarket with the kids.

This gave me a chance for an inspection of the beef aisles. All the fresh stuff was British beef, but what was more impressive was that the pre-packed and processed beef, cooked silverside, pastrami, salt beef and even corned beef, which would usually be either EU-sourced or South American, was British.

The use of all these lower-value round cuts and trim in processed beef must be an advantage in adding value to the carcass as a whole.

I’m no expert on food labelling and marketing, but it would be nice to see a bigger union flag on these products. Surely this is something we can be proud of producing?

I’m a big believer in ‘wherever the flag is flown we support our own’.

I had to stop the children Charley and Molly ramming the trolley into other unsuspecting shoppers. Then I removed numerous packets of Angel Delight, chocolate and other goodies that they had sneaked into the basket.

I then totally ignored the shopping list provided by Pam and made the very sensible purchases of just beef and beer – shopping job done.


Doug Dear is a Farmer Focus writer from Yorkshire. Read his biography.