Livestock prices go up and livestock prices go down. But farming
is cyclical and businesses have to sell stock, no matter which way
the market is moving. Maltas Farms is one such business, hosting
its 18th annual auction of cattle last week
Right: David Maltas (right) has a chat with John Spence, a regular buyer and an old acquaintance. The stores were bred on the vendors Scottish farm near Dumfries, before spending the winter in Yorkshire. As Mr Maltas says: "Its cheaper to bring the stock to the straw and the feed than the other way round."
There were 360 Continental cross cattle, mainly between five and 15 months old, on offer at this venue near Aldbrough, Hull.
Auctioneer Jim Richardson of Ullyott and Butler (with cap) said demand for female stock was surprisingly buoyant. "With finished heifer prices anywhere between 50p and 80p/kg, I was expecting a bit of a tousling – but they sold particularly well." Smart heifers may be in demand, he reckons, from people looking to breed from them. Top prices included £508 for Charolais cross heifers. Limousin cross steers made to £535.
Feeding the hungry… Melanie, Caroline and Margaret Maltas made sure visitors didnt go hungry.
Above: For many of those ringside, visiting the event has become an annual pilgrimage. There is a regular Scottish contingent, for example, supplementing the locals.
Left: A busy day for David Maltas and his five sons.
Prices were only slightly down on last years sale – however that event showed a big drop on 1996, when prices had held up remarkably well, bearing in mind BSE was in every headline at the time.
Average prices (p/kg)
Charolais X 100.8 84.5
Limousin X 93.0 87.0