Peter Jones — Store stock trading report September 2023

Organic producers up and down the country are finishing the summer with more than adequate  supplies of forage to sustain the months ahead. Corn prices look more subdued which will not help arable producers, but will help livestock farmers with cheaper concentrate.   

The first of the spring-born calves are now starting to be booked in for sale in October, November and December. The most striking thing at this time of the year is the price differential between good well bred cattle, and poorer quality cattle. It is hard to put a price on this because there are many variables to take into  account, but as a ball park estimate, there can, and regularly is, a difference of £400 – £500 between the  mediocre and the best of the spring born calves, and this reflects in the life time of the cattle. When you consider that the cost of production, other than the breeding stock values, are virtually the same, I can only ask the rhetorical question, “why would anyone breed poor cattle?”  If you are wanting to improve your breeding herd and need replacements we can help. We can also offer advice (free of charge) on the type of cattle to buy.                                                                               

Demand for store cattle remains strong as we head into the Autumn/Winter and I’m expecting the strong trade of the last twelve months to continue.                                

We are well into the store lamb trading season and returns for producers have been better than last year. Strong demand reflects confidence in the  market and the surplus of grass currently in the fields is encouraging graziers to buy increased  numbers of lambs.                                                     

The favourable growing conditions are likely to bring lambs to finishing weights earlier than last year, so a shortage of hogs post Christmas looks likely. As I write this we are very short of suppliers and require more lambs.