Farmer Focus: Let’s not get giddy about rising beef prices

The pendulum has swung. The statisticians were right. Demand for beef has now outstripped supply and there has been a dramatic increase in price.

This would probably have happened sooner, but the fall-out from coronavirus has delayed the price increase.

Let’s hope as an industry we can now maintain these higher returns and refrain from going “giddy” and sending ourselves into a cyclical fluctuation.

See also: Beef price rise stokes store cattle prices

The increase in the beef price is really positive news and restores some confidence. It gives a good base to move forward in the coming months, as we steadily come out of lockdown restrictions.

The foodservice sector will eventually be able to shift the round cuts and fast food outlets will take more forequarter.

Processors have backed British Beef 100% (there has been one exception). They’ve adapted to their new market rapidly, with improvisation and various promotions to keep the supply chain going. If we can’t kill beef, they can’t sell beef.

As I write this article in late May, the maize is taking another hammering. It was at the four-leaf stage and looking a picture. Not only is it dealing with a 10-week drought, it’s been frosted twice and is now getting sand blasted – this is the year that just keeps on giving.

During lockdown it has been like Piccadilly Circus here at Osgodby Grange.

I have no problem if people stick to public footpaths. I have been turning a blind eye to people walking round the boundaries, because I know it’s awful being cooped up inside all day.

However, I draw the line at five-aside football in the middle of a flowering crop of rape, not to mention mountain bikers traversing potato rows and horses and bikes damaging crops.

If I had a pound for every time I’ve heard, “I’m not doing any harm”, I would be sat on a big pile of pounds.

My two girls have been getting an alternative education and have developed their stock skills over the past 10 weeks.

They are exceptionally good behind the crush and have learned lots of new words to add to their vocabulary, none of which can be repeated when they get back to school.

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