Trade talk from Shae Price, BJP Marts Carmarthen

20th December 2018

“Where will we be this time next year” has been the big question in West Wales. ‘Brexit’ looms and is a great concern for many farmers. 

We hold a weekly dairy sale in Carmarthen of 50-60 freshly calved heifers and cows, along with 600+ calves. Dairy trade has been very up and down. West Wales is very much governed by TB with many herds under restriction - a huge burden on buying and selling. The summer hasn’t helped either, with the fodder situation affecting both dairy cattle, and current store cattle prices.

However, we have seen a rise in trade, and still see the top end dairy making over £1650-£2200. We have noticed that when we have a rise in the dairy ring, this is from farmers being down with TB, buying cattle under APHA buying Licence. 

This week we held a new fixture for Pedigree Dairy Heifers who haven’t calved. To enter, all females must be from families with over five generations of VG/EX. The sale was topped at £3400 for a 20-month old heifer.  The calf ring, mainly consisting of beef x calves, has been hard work up until the past few weeks. Top end beef calves are easily sold from £350-£450, dairy bull calves have been reaching peaks of £150 recently.

Numbers were looking good in the store ring at the beginning of November and have dropped off lately. Trade is very good on the top-end, but the second quality has been very sticky. Barren cow trade has been steady, and I understand this is from a massive backlog of cows in the Slaughterhouse

I sit here writing this thinking what does the future hold for Agriculture after Brexit. Will it be the Environmental route? To me there is no better person to look after our land then the farmer. So, let’s keep ploughing on.