uPIG gross margins are at their lowest since 1994, reveals latest Signet figures. Data for the six months to March 1998 shows a margin of £20 a pig for farmers breeding and feeding stock to over 85kg lw. This marks a fall of £6 a pig on a year earlier, with the fall in feed costs insufficient to offset the lower slaughter values.
uMAY saw more store stock pass through Taunton market than in any other month for the last two years. The store cattle entry was up 40% on 1997. The trend continued into June, say the auctioneers, with June 13, for example, seeing 575 store cattle, 50 dairy cattle and 96 suckler cows among the entry.
uPLENTIFUL grass boosted demand at last weekends store cattle sale at Northampton, say the auctioneers. Charolais steers sold to £635, with Angus cross to £595. Among the heifers, highest price was £460. Among the breeding cattle, purebred Limousin cows with steer calves at foot sold to £830, with others close behind at £825 and £820.
uAFTER the closure of Banbury market, the British Charollais Sheep Society has switched its main summer show and sale to Lichfield Auction Centre run by auctioneers Bagshaws. The 300-400 rams on offer will be sold by three "invited" auctioneers – Brian Pile (Northampton), Paul Gentry (Newark) and William McCulloch (Lanark) on Sat, July 18.
uIN-CALF heifers made up most of the stock when Mrs Jackie Boucher staged the final part of her Sidhill Holstein Friesian herd dispersal at Brympton dEvercy, Somerset. Five lots made four figures peaking at 1280gns for a newly calved heifer by a home bred son of Brynhyfryd Cascade and offered with two-day-old twin heifer calves. The outfit went to Mr and Mrs Cole, Wells. Averages: Six calved heifers £941 and 49 in-calf heifers £769. (Greenslade Taylor Hunt.) *