OPTIMISM in the dairy sector has resulted in brisk trade at auction marts as farmers look to expand their herds.
Auctioneers around the country spoke of good trade, despite funds in the sector being tight, as people become more willing to grow their herds, often to meet volume bonuses being offered by a number of processors.
Greenslade Taylor Hunt, which runs the market at Sedgemoor, Somerset, reported prices were in line with last year, despite a 50 per cent rise in cattle coming to market.
The auction saw the best newly calved heifers selling for £2,500, with other heifers averaging about £2,000.
Auctioneer Derek Biss said: “The price is fairly consistent with last year. Numbers were down, but confidence is returning.”
He said money remained tight in the dairy industry, but farmers were willing to take a risk to increase herds to take advantage of the different incentives.
But Mr Biss said the auction market was ‘short’ of good second and third calvers, and these were commanding £1,600 to £2,000.
The feeling at Carlisle’s dairy auction was similar to Sedgemoor. The auction reported newly-calved heifers being sold for about £2,000 and older cows going for between £1,500 and £1,600 – a similar price to last year.
Harrison and Hetherington auctioneer Andrew Templeton said: “That could look cheap if the milk price does increase.”
He added numbers coming to auction were increasing and there seemed to be more optimism among buyers attending the market.
Wright Manley’s monthly pedigree sale at Beeston, Cheshire, saw prices a little ‘sharper’ than a month ago.
Top-priced newly-calved heifers sold to £3,000 and the top price for older milkers was £1,900.
Auctioneer Clive Norbury said an increase in prices at the auctions was dependent on how milk prices progressed over the next few months.
(Source – http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/business/strong-demand-for-dairy-heifers-as-buyers-take-a-chance/58428.article)