Stephen Dodsworth on booming beef trade.
The current beef boom knows no bounds.
The extraordinary live ring has lately been at its brilliant best, no matter the age, weight or farm assured status, week by week we see cattle prices enter uncharted waters.
So why is the beef price at an all-time high?
On home soil we could blame the declining hill cow numbers, the cost of production forcing suckler herds to abandon ship or even the now commonplace sexed semen in our dairy sector, but I believe the problem is worldwide.
Despite the influx of plant-based celebrities on our screens, what we actually have is a growing protein-hungry population.
Aside from the tofu, soya, almond, avocado obsessed minority, we live in a world where people need reasonably priced and sustainable sources of protein, zinc, iron and vitamin B12 - guess what? The original source is the best.
So, the Great British beef farmer is enjoying a purple patch and a very well deserved one at that.
Our beef farmers have earned this, for all those bad calvings and hard winters, let alone the scars left by foot-and mouth and BSE.
What next? Cow numbers take a long time to expand and therefore in the short-term we will surely see more ground-breaking prices.
If things do not change from the top, we may see expensive beef as the new normal, it is fast becoming a delicacy.
Will the wise folk of Westminster even realise that without food security we are in a deep hole?
Subsidies must be reinvented, rewritten and reflect production levels, without this our political parties inevitably face a vote from a very hungry nation and, if they are anything like me, I am rather angry
when I am hungry.
Stephen Dodsworth is a fieldsperson at Darlington Farmers Auction Mart. Call 01325 464 529, or email [email protected]