Quota filler maintains steady lift in dairy prices
By Jeremy Hunt
SOUTH-WEST dairy farmers at the annual "Quota Filler" sale at Exeter last week saw prices maintain the steady rise of recent weeks despite continuing uncertainties over the selective cull.
A newly calved heifer, Dinnaton DT Rockie Jane, from Derek Dennis, Ivybridge, led the trade at 1800gns on a day when cows and heifers levelled at just over £1000. Jane, giving 30kg a day, was bought by G Armstong, Minehead.
Auctioneer, Henry Simon, said prices at the sale, organised by the South Western Holstein Friesian Breeders Club, were now beginning to be influenced by the seasonal shortage of new calvers.
"Demand is slightly exceeding supply but the expectation is for prices to rise further as the selective cull takes a lot of cattle out of the system. How many and what the effect will be on values in the short term is impossible to predict.
"I know of one man who estimates he will lose 70 head from his herd of 320 milkers. That is a quarter of his milk income that will be lost until he can restock.
"And it will be the 1991-92 bred cows, the real milk-pumps, that will probably form a large part of the cohorts," said Mr Simon.
A second-calf cow, meanwhile, made 1500gns to Messrs Burnell, Kingsbridge. Platinum Cleitus Polly was bred out of a Counselor dam and giving 50kg a day after a 9100kg yield in her first lactation. She was consigned by Far-a-Way Holsteins, Wareham, Dorset.
Thuborough Lulu 28th, a Southwestern First Mate third calver from W * Ley, Holsworthy, Devon, went to P and J Ley, Barnstaple, at 1450gns.
Many transactions made four figures and a selection of 11 cows and heifers from S E J Tapp and Sons Chettiscombe herd near Tavistock reached 1000gns twice.
Demand for dairy cattle at other south-west markets is also up. At Yeovil last Friday the 27 calved heifers averaged £854 and 22 cows £807. "The average for heifers includes stock from the best to the worst. There were plenty of heifers at 1000gns," said Mr Simon.
AVERAGES 10 cows £1101, 21 calved heifers £1012, four non-pedigree calved heifers £695 and five non-pedigree in-calf heifers £548. (R B Taylor and Sons.) *
Topping the trade at Exeter, Dinnaton DT Rockie Jane.