In most areas of the UK grass is still in plentiful supply and consequently forage stocks harvested this summer have been good. There are however parts of the UK, particularly the South East, where this is not the case and grass silage and hay are in very short supply. The South East has seen a number of very dry summers in recent years and if this trend is to continue the livestock producers in these areas will need to re think their management and that inevitably means reducing stocking rates.
We have lived through unprecedented times and we have some time to go before we see our lives back to ‘normal’ as a second wave of Covid 19 seems likely. There is no doubt that eating at home has changed the dynamics of meat supply and let’s hope this continues to be the ‘new normal’.
The ongoing debates and negotiations over Brexit continue and economists are making variable predictions on the likely effect on meat prices. Some are predicting large rises in the meat trade whilst others are predicting a less dramatic rise.
The organic beef price has been largely flat for the last 2 to 3 years with only a slight rise however this year the finished price for beef and lamb has risen since mid April. Although we have in recent weeks seen some downward pressure in price but as I speak the prices are still good and giving producers a good return for their stock which I think will continue. Store cattle prices have reflected that of finished stock with a lot of store cattle achieving returns for producers of between £50 to £150 more than 12 months ago.
Lamb prices have also seen substancial rises with both finished lambs and store lambs making £10 to £15 more than 12 months ago. Going into the back end I predict that prices will remain firm for store cattle for this time of year. The lamb trade in theory should be most vulnerable to downward pressure from export tariffs post Brexit but the underlying strength of continued demand may just overcome the difficulties in exporting the product.
Demand for dairy stock continues to be strong with cross bred type grazing cows and heifers being particularly sort after by organic producers expanding and for new organic milk producers setting up.
For advice on the marketing of organic store cattle, store lambs and dairy stock please ring the office on 01829 730 580 or myself on 07720 892 922
If you are looking for any of the above please do not hesitate to contact us.