Trade Talk by Glyn Lucas Senior Dairy Auctioneer, Harrison & Hetherington

12th October 2018

2018 has been a year of extreme weather conditions across the globe, and here in the UK it’s been no different.  The extreme weather alongside the new world of geo-economics has increased the cost of production significantly, leaving the farm gate milk price still behind the curve.  Speaking with milk producers it seems production has remained strong or is slightly up, but almost everyone has purchased more concentrate to achieve this.

Despite this, there remains a positive outlook going forward as milk production will probably drop in the remaining part of 2018 and first half of 2019.  One factor has to be how cow retention figures decreased during the summer drought, and culling figures remain high, as winter forage is a big issue in certain areas.     

The trade for dairy cattle remains strong as does demand.  At H&H we are very fortunate to have many of the best breeders in the UK sell at our monthly sales, giving buyers the finest choice in the country.  At our August Pedigree dairy sale, heifers averaged £1979 and topped at 3,100gns with 38 animals selling for over £2000.   

Our monthly commercial sale held on the first Wednesday of the month continues to grow, both in numbers and reputation.  We have seen a much broader selection of breeds on offer at this event including Fleckvieh, Montbeliarde, Brown Swiss and Swedish Reds.  Topping the September sale at £2050 was a very milky Fleckvieh cross cow in her second lactation.  In-calf heifers have been excellent value for money throughout 2018 and continue to trade around £1300 for tremendous heifers, many in-calf to sexed semen.    

We are looking forward to our 32nd Black & White sale that takes place on the 1st December. Our selection team have been choosing some of the very best animals ever offered at public auction and would like to invite everyone to this special event.