Know How / Livestock marketing

Quality and consistency is key in maximising the value of your prime and breeding stock at sale time. We give dairy, beef, sheep and pig producers advice for targeting the right markets, whether they be selling live, dead, hitting premiums or supplying direct retailer contracts.

Case studies

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PIGS

Pig health and welfare underpin herd expansion

Adam Marshall, who farms alongside his father Adam and brother Charlie is committed to a future in pig farming. Together they are increasing their pig herd from 215 sows to…

BEEF

Rival breeders' collaboration sees Angus bull sales treble

A marketing partnership with a rival English breeder has enabled a Scottish Angus herd to treble its bull sales, rewarding the herd’s focus on cost control and type. The Playfair-Hannays,…

SHEEP

How hill graziers improved sheep grazing and environment

Managing invasive bracken on the Black Mountains has increased the usable grazing area by 320ha (790 acres). A programme of twice-yearly control treatments, applied over a three-year period up to…

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

How award-winning pig farmer tapped into China export market

Since 2018 China has lost half of its pigs to African swine fever, equating to about 30% of the global population. Although the viral disease continues, the country is trying…

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

Benefits of selling beef into the ethical market

The Ethical Butcher only launched in March 2020, but has already secured major funding from five livestock farmers and smaller investments from others. Farshad Kazemian, chief executive officer of The…

DIVERSIFICATION

How one farmer adds value with ‘worthless’ wool and bracken

Bracken is a scourge for many hill farmers, eating up valuable grazing land, providing an ideal habit for ticks, and proving difficult to control. But a farmer in Cumbria has…

Practical advice

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DAIRY

How spring-calvers can prepare for end of bull calf euthanasia

Producing a viable dairy bull calf is a challenge in a system that relies on an efficient cow of smaller stature to maximise milk production from grazed grass on the…

BEEF

3 beef systems and their earning potential compared

More farmers are considering beef production as the industry experiences a sustained period of buoyant returns. Buying in calves and selling them as stores is now the most common system…

LIVESTOCK

How hill farmers can tap into new market for light lambs

Hill farmers could tap into new markets for lighter carcasses by intensively finishing lambs to a deadweight of 12-16kg. With producer groups in Ireland already supplying up to 30,000 lighter…

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

Alternatives to selling livestock at markets this autumn

Ongoing social distancing restrictions and the uncertainty surrounding some breeding stock sales mean farmers may have to think about alternative ways to buy and sell their stock. The backend of the…

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

Advice on marketing lambs for the Muslim festival

The Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha (festival of sacrifice) provides sheep farmers with an opportunity to access a growing market. Eid al-Adha is one of the most important festivals in…

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

So you want to... set up a milk vending machine?

With about one-fifth of farmers planning to diversify to survive after Brexit, according to a recent NFU Mutual report, milk vending machines could prove an attractive option to add value…

Insights

SHEEP

Does the UK have too many sheep breeds?

Over the centuries a spectrum of breeds has evolved in Britain, from fast-growing, prolific lowland types to hardier, single-bearing ewes for the uplands. According to the National Sheep Association (NSA),…

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

What farmers need to know about livestock sales this year

Covid-19 has shaken up the way livestock sales can take place, with social-distancing rules making it difficult to operate as normal in livestock markets. Although the sale of breeding stock…

MEAT MARKETS AND PRICES

Coronavirus: Consumer appetite for grass-fed meat surges

The coronavirus pandemic has rocked food supply chains, with British beef and sheep farmers facing disruption caused by irrational buying in supermarkets and the loss of the food service market.…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Lim-gate: What next for EBVs?

The exposure of errors relating to the registration of birth dates and parentage of cattle last year brought into question the legitimacy and accuracy of data feeding into Estimated Breeding…

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

Coronavirus: Online livestock auctions - how they work

Over the past week, we have seen markets close their doors due to the coronavirus outbreak, with others limiting the sale of stock to primestock, cull animals and store animals…

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

Calls mount to add quality measures to Europ grid

British red meat production cannot compete on price, so it must compete on quality, says 2018 Nuffield scholar and director of meat quality consultancy FQM Global, Caroline Mitchell. Speaking at…

LIVESTOCK MARKETING

What happens to wool once it leaves the farm

The UK’s national sheep flock supplies British Wool with 30 million kilograms of wool annually – but what happens to the fleeces once they leave the farm? Farmers Weekly visited the…

BUSINESS

Wool’s environmental credentials could open new markets

The news has been full of “plastics in the sea” stories recently and a huge contributor to this pollution are the fibres washed out of synthetic clothing by domestic washing…

BUSINESS

How the retail market for young bulls is changing

Leading retailers insist they are continuing to source young bulls for beef despite one supermarket removing them from certain products last year. Tesco’s decision to stop using young bulls in…

BEEF

Breeder outlines a new direction for a better beef industry

The beef industry requires an urgent change of direction with emphasis put on breeding and feed efficiencies to counter the effects of continuing commodity price volatility and uncertainty over farm…

DAIRY

3 key ingredients for milk contracts

Many UK dairy farmers are either fully or part way through converting to being paid for full milk solids rather than volume and yet I still see arguments by farmers that…

BREEDING AND FERTILITY

Target daily liveweight gains to cut beef finishing times

Setting strict targets for daily liveweight gains and getting rid of animals that are not hitting the grade is helping beef finisher Meilir Jones keep a tight rein on costs…