Strong cull cow market could increase returns by £88/cow

Dairy and beef producers have an excellent opportunity to boost returns by finishing culls this season, suggests EBLEX, as the cull cow market is predicted to remain strong over coming months.

A shortage of manufacturing beef across Europe and the weakness of the Sterling against the Euro have strengthened prices, with beef-bred culls making on average 100p/kg and dairy-bred stock at 90p/kg.

Grade two cows are fetching 11p/kg liveweight more than Grade 3 stock, with Grade 3 stock making on average 17p/kg more than Grade 4 animals. EBLEX calculations suggest that improving a Grade 3 cull to Grade 2 trough finishing, while putting on around 50kg liveweight will improve returns by £88/cow.

With feed cost typically ranging from 80p/cow/day on grass-based diets to 150p/cow/day on cereals and with 60-80 days feeding needed to get normal rates of gain, many producers are likely to fins planned cull cow finishing pays dividends, comments EBLEX.

EBLEX planning recommendations include realistic budgeting based on readily available feed resources. Assessing and finishing animals likely to respond to it. Marketing animals in good enough condition and utilising feed and facilities that don’t interfere with the farm’s main enterprises.

Strong prices set to continue into the New Year, particularly if Brazilian imports do not resume to any significant extent.

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