Trade Talk - Chris Voyce

25th November 2015

The Autumn store cattle sales are now in full flow and many outlying cattle starting to show signs of the weather. All the barns full of fodder and a fairly firm beef trade has resulted in a fairly steady store cattle trade so far this Autumn. The trade continues to hold up well especially on the stronger, farming sorts with the better shaped suckler bred steers trading between £1050 - £1150 (185 – 210p/kg). The stronger farming heifers still trade regularly around £1000 mark (175 – 200p/kg). The better shaped farming steers trade regularly between £900 - £1000 (180 – 215p/kg) with heifers £750 - £850 (170 – 190p/kg). The general dairy bred cattle and the ones showing the signs of the weather are now becoming a more selective trade with the steers trading between £700 - £800 (170 – 180p/kg) & heifers £550 - £700 (160 – 175p/kg).

The Friesian steer trade continues fairly steadily with the stronger sorts £750 - £850 (140 – 160p/kg) but the smaller and more Holstein types meet with a bit of resistance between £500 - £600 (130 – 140p/kg).

Our TB restricted “Orange” Store cattle sales continue monthly with unfortunately high numbers forward but these sales are a lifeline for many farmer under TB restriction. The stronger cattle trade at very similar levels to the un-restricted sales. The younger cattle & again longer term cattle are the ones that are harder to place. This is unlikely to change especially with the new proposals that non contiguous grazing would not be allowed within a single AFU. I presume a single farming business will still be allowed several grazing AFU’s (each with a separate holding number). Movements between which would require a licence (taking 5 working days) & movements reporting to BCMS & not seeming to reduce the red tape. Grazing AFU’s must have rigorous biosecurity & inspected by APHA & be double fenced to eliminate contact with third party bovines. Within Gloucestershire the percentage of farms under TB restrictions is high and they are allowed non contiguous land as part of a single holding, most have less bio security and no double fencing against third party livestock. Which farm is the greatest threat to the control of TB.

We need more farmers and buyers with grazing AFU’s to help with the trade of younger & smaller TB restricted cattle, with less burdens of paperwork, kept simple for the farmer, kept simple for APHA to administer & cost less for the country.

Chris Voyce – Voyce Pullin Markets Ltd - Cirencester Market