Tuesday 30 May, 2023

View from the rostrum: Shows emphasise quality

Mathew Middleton on rising costs this winter.

clock • 2 min read
View from the rostrum: Shows emphasise quality

Mathew Middleton on rising costs this winter.

The British Farming Awards in Birmingham last week highlighted the positivity of the industry we work within.

Congratulations to all the winners and nominees from the evening.

As a new auctioneer, trips and local events, such as shows and talks, are a key part of the job.

They create the opportunity to meet new and existing customers and build relationships in a social environment, away from busy market days.

A drought-like summer has created a sense of uncertainty as we move into winter.

With shortages of crops and forage, and increases in prices across the board, it could be one of the hardest winters of recent times.

This has had a knock-on effect in prime and cast rings, in both cattle and sheep categories, as the quality of grass has dropped and the cost of concentrate feed has increased.

Large numbers of half meat lambs are forward on a weekly basis, which would most probably sell to the vendors’ advantage in the store ring.

Despite this, it gives a clear premium to fed and well-finished lambs in comparison.

The store lamb market has been met with a sharp trade from our first sale back in July with the optimism of rain at the forefront, with short term and best-bred type lambs having the greatest demand.

In the store cattle category, it is a very similar script, with feeding type and suckler-bred cattle selling well.

Our opening suckled calf sale was met with a buoyant trade and a ringside of buyers looking to secure those quality spring-born calves – giving confidence to the farmers producing them through these difficult and costly times.

Cast and prime cattle remain a highlight of the week here, with strong numbers of butcher and wholesale quality animals forward weekly and cast cattle forward in vast numbers, with unproductive cattle being cashed to sellers’ advantage, even more so with winter housing just around the corner.

Dairy at Gisburn is always a popular section, with 60-100 in milk weekly and customers traveling far and wide to sell and buy stock with us.

With milk prices at all time highs, confidence is strong and buyers are keen to invest.

Next stop is the Christmas shows, which always bring out a fantastic showcase of stock across every sector and really do emphasise the quality of stock British farmers are producing.

Mathew Middleton

Mathew Middleton is a trainee auctioneer and fieldsman at Gisburn Auction Mart. Call 07860 659 803, or email [email protected] gisburnauctions.com

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