Breeder values take a beating
BREEDING cattle prices are well down on those achieved last autumn.
Heifers with calves averaged £644 at St Boswells, Borders last Thursday, a drop of more than £200 on last year.
"There is no confidence and no money," says auctioneer Jack Clark. "Despite talk of the beef ban being lifted, a lot of us will only believe it when we see it."
The £100 a head drop in suckled calf prices has contributed to the lower spending on breeders. As Mr Clark says: "You have got to have the money before you can spend it."
Jim Craig, auctioneer at Ayr, says there are big numbers of heifers with calves on offer, with farmers having kept and bulled stock rather than sold it as stores.
In the past, it was a "regular occurrence" for a cow-and-calf outfit to hit £1000, says Mr Craig. But he has not seen four figures reached once this season. *