Suckled calf sales need to keep pace

Store cattle are on fire – and it doesn’t look like anyone needs to waft the flames to keep up the heat.


Finished cattle prices are firming up, but supplies of stores and suckled calves are getting tighter. Beef finishers in action at Brecon and Radnor Suckled Calf Rearers Association on Tuesday actually reckoned prices weren’t as high as they’d expected even though most vendors went home pleased with their day’s work.


There were some really top quality cattle on offer – and notable among them were the Charolais-sired calves – but sales like this must not be allowed to lose their place in the autumn calendar. For all sorts of reasons this fixture doesn’t draw the 1,000 or so head it used to attract, but finishers – especially from the east – still make the journey to support it. Suckled calf production can’t be cranked up overnight to meet the demand for finished beef but it’s to be hoped that there’s still enough confidence in the job to stop any further decline in the suckler herds of mid-Wales and the Welsh border counties.