Buyers market for dairy cow sales

9 October 1998

Buyers market for dairy cow sales

DAIRY cow values have fallen this autumn as herd dispersals come thick and fast.

The drop is at least 25%, reckons Keith Flemington, auctioneer with Bruton Knowles. And the cash now raised by commercial cows is often dwarfed by the quota, land and machinery.

Farmers are keen to sell up while quota still has a value and before less-favourable retirement tax rules cut in next year.

A two-tier trade has developed, says Mr Flemington. "Younger, better-bred cows are still selling reasonably well. But people dont want to tie money up in older cows which could be worthless in the future. The over-30-month-scheme will not go on for ever."

Terry Hamlin, auctioneer with Stags, has also seen more sales this autumn than in 1997. Buyers could use that to their advantage, he reckons. "Farmers will never get a better opportunity to replace old cows with young ones for such a narrow price gap."

Farmers planning to sell, meanwhile, can do little but keep their fingers crossed. "Im not very hopeful," says Patrick Beckey, selling his Holstein Friesian herd next Thursday (Oct 15) at Balhamhill Farm, Chiselborough, Somerset.

"Weve been planning to sell for a couple of years – but it looks like well be going at a bad time."

See more