Co. Down suckler beef farmer Sam Chesney is confirming that greater than £5/kg is now obtainable for completed cattle in Northern Eire.
“However we’re speaking choose tons solely; high grading continental heifers, for probably the most half,” he instructed Agriland.
“There’s a shortage of beef these days. And this is the reason cattle costs are remaining sturdy. And that is significantly the case within the marts.
“However the true subject issues the margin that farmers are literally making these days.”
In accordance with Chesney, compound feed costs in Northern Eire stay at traditionally excessive ranges.
“Sure, fertiliser costs have come again to a point over current weeks. However they’re nonetheless means above the place they have been previous to the outbreak of struggle in Ukraine,” he commented.
“Most beef farmers could be ready to take a decrease beef value if their enter prices would come again to the place they have been 18 months in the past.”
Chesney additionally believes that meals rationing may grow to be a actuality within the not too distant future.
“That is actually a chance if we see farm enter prices persevering with to extend,” he pressured.
“And all of that is going down towards the backdrop of a fast-growing international inhabitants.”
In the meantime, the poor climate up thus far has been creating main administration complications for Sam Chesney. He calves simply wanting 100 suckler cows throughout the spring months.
“It has been one of many longest winters that I can keep in mind,” he pressured.
“We had a number of the early calvers out in February. However the climate was that dangerous in March that kind of all of the cattle at the moment are again in.
“We have now had to make use of each nook and cranny across the yard to deal with all of the cattle and their calves. It has been a administration nightmare. Fortunately, now we have loads of silage; most of the neighbours haven’t been that fortunate.”
From a herd breeding standpoint, Sam has used lots of Stabiliser genetics on the cows over the previous three years.
“I’ve additionally began to make use of some Hereford sires as nicely,” he defined.
“All of the male calves are completed as younger bulls at between 13- and 14-months-of-age. Carcass weights are within the area of 400kg.
“It takes roughly 1t of meal to generate this stage of efficiency. The heifers are completed at between 21- and 24-months-of-age.
“They do get a second grazing season; the main target right here is on securing the best potential ranges of efficiency from grass,” he added.
Wanting forward, Sam Chesney believes that the suckler sector in Northern Eire wants a particular help package deal.
He stated he’s conscious of the current determination by the Irish authorities to push forward with a €200 suckler headage fee.
“Throughout my interval as chairman of the Ulster Farmers’ Union [UFU] cattle and sheep committee, I pushed to have a help scheme for the suckler sector recognised,” he stated.
“And the committee managed to get this subject over the road within the type of a headage fee on cows. Nonetheless, for my part, the fee ought to be directed in direction of the calf.”