Trade Talk - March 2016

9th March 2016

Libby Bell Auctioneer and MD Barnard Castle and Teesdale Farmers Auction Mart Co. LTD

As we approach spring yet again the focus is on the weather and lambing time. With scans locally showing a lot of lambs the priority is of course on getting them here in one piece.

By the beginning of May (a little later here than other areas) we start to see Ewes and hoggs with lambs at foot come on the market, hopefully selling to last year's most satisfactory trade. The debate then begins as to what prices will be from September through until November when the majority of our lambs come forward, and then comes the million dollar question in Teesdale and Weardale, what will trade be for Breeding sheep (particularly Mule & Swaledale). Although this seems a long way off, the farmers in these dales are fanatical on this subject and that is why there is such a high standard of stock on display at the local marts.

Prime hoggs and Cast sheep have been a marvellous trade since the turn of the year, and although due to our location our numbers have dried up long may this trade continue for those with an abundance of hoggs left to sell.

The prime cattle remain a difficult trade and along with the delay in single farm payments this certainly reflected in the store markets throughout December and to the end of January, but as producers have started to market their younger cattle in February the trade has seen an upturn with the quality 8-12 month old cattle being only £20-£30 back on 2015.

Along with farming on a day to day basis, completing what seems like unnessary paperwork, jumping through hoops to meet required standards making British produce the best in the world, now we have to decide by 23rd June - EU in or out?