21 August 1998
Suckler cow quota prices defy gravity
SUCKLER cow quota prices are the only thing rising in agricultural commodities, according to a report in The Scotsman.
The quota trading market is described by one participant as “extremely active”. Non-LFA quota is changing hands on outright purchase at £145-£150 per unit, compared to £120 just 12 months go.
For LFA, quota trade prices are running up to £138, in contrast to about £105 last August. Lease values are about twice the £20 that set the market a year ago.
In the Highlands and Islands, where the quota has to stay within a defined area, values have doubled to £150.
Pat Lawson of United Auctions commented: “It would appear that a lot of farmers have kept their older suckler cows for an extra year in view of the low value through the cull scheme. Herd numbers seem to be rising by eight or ten extra cows. It then makes sense to buy quota.”
Lawson reckons that there are a lot of farmers who have given up in England and have put on sucklers. He says these are the ones who are looking to the Scottish market for non-LFA quota.
The effects of the post-BSE price crash in finished cattle is one other factor which has boosted demand.
The Scotsman 21/08/98 page 26