Beef cattle age profile crucial as producers rally

UK - Beef producers are enjoying the best prices for their cattle for more than 10 years, with both prime animals and suckled calves selling for around £100 per head more than 12 months ago.
calendar icon 6 October 2006
clock icon 1 minute read

The reforms of the Common Agricultural Policy, which saw support decoupled from production, were forecast to precipitate a substantial downsizing of the Scottish beef breeding herd.

However, provisional figures from the Scottish Executive's June census suggest that the herd has only fallen by 1.5% to 484,960 cows. However, farmers need to look carefully at the age structure of their herds, according to John Bell, the technical representative with the Scottish Beef Cattle Association.

Bell, who runs a herd of 500 cows in Fife, commented: "We are still experiencing the fall-out of the over 30 months scheme when low compensation rates meant cows being kept longer so that the average age of herds is increasing."

Source: theherald.co.uk

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