Calf buyers unmoved by heifers

By FW staff

CALF buyers are turning their backs on heifers, leaving some struggling to attract a bid.

Rearers are discriminating against female cattle which, unlike the males, get no beef special premium subsidy.

It partly reflects, says Northampton auctioneer Keith Rose, the quality of the commodity now on offer. Some of them are small and secondary. “If its going die on you, youre not going to pay £40 for it.”

Even for the bull calves – which are attracting a “steady stream of buyers” with the best at £120 to £150 – caution remains the watchword, says Mr Rose.

The slaughter scheme has limited beef supplies but exports, he warns, will not return overnight because the ban has been lifted. “Itll mean going out and getting new business again.”

According to John Pullin, auctioneer at Gloucester, reasonable-quality heifers – which can be picked up for as little as £25 – should be considered by rearers.

People do not have a great deal of confidence in them – but if they eventually finish at 500kg and make 75p/kg, thats £350 to £400.

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