Comment – Who’s got the money?

Amidst the excitement of a new green artic tractor with more that 900hp on tap being released in the States, yours truly had to buy some in lamb ewes under instruction of the 14 year old in the household. ‘I want some Cheviots’ was the cry. Well he has the money, so off we went.

I called a neighbouring farmer who works at the Mart, to get a feel for prices, given that fat lambs (if there are any left, anywhere) are setting records. ‘Be careful’ Joe said, and he suggested a very conservative price range, duly armed, we set off and returned with 11 in lamb ewes and shearling for a sensible price.

By now you are wondering where I’m going here? Simples, there is a big difference between record fat lamb prices, and modest breeding stock prices. As John sat next to me in the mart said ‘they were for nowt’.  But why the differential? Buyers spending power, fat lamb buyers are not farmers and have a big demand to satisfy as the national flock is c 3% smaller than last year, Ramadan is approaching and there just are not the lambs about. Breeding stock are bought by farmers, and they haven’t got the money.

If you have been standing at a show, in a customers kitchen, or fiddling with the calculator (‘I’ll just make a call’) to get a deal over the line, it’s difficult.

To give the counterpoint (and argue against myself!) Arla have just upped their milk price for both conventional and organic milk, as the market rises, and beef prices (again driven by demand) are good.

In other cheerful news February has shaped up to be one of the wettest on record, still spring work will progress rapidly once it dries up, and as we know, it if moves, it breaks. In every cloud.

Have a great week.



PS: Here’s the link for the rainfall stats

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