Beef: Cattle farmers operate in a fog of confused messages
Published 16/12/2015 | 02:30
Recent downpours would suggest that Mother Nature has at last realised what season it is. However, the excellent late growth that we enjoyed most of this back-end was the icing on the cake as far as my farming year was concerned
Most years the returns for the last load of cattle I sell are invariably disappointing.
Happily this year broke the trend. Given that we are talking about dairy Friesian cattle coming off grass in mid November without meal, fat scores of three and four are quite impressive.
These results summed up 2015 for me - it was an excellent thriving year in spite of a limited supply of grass and below normal temperatures during key summer months.
On average, the price per kilo this year worked out at €3.72, which was about 40c more than last year.
Unfortunately this increase was wiped out by a corresponding increase in the price of store cattle, but that's the cattle trade - everyone must get their share.
Another bonus of the good autumn weather was that I was able to delay housing the first of my store cattle until December 1. They are now getting second-cut silage that looks very good and has very little waste.
It's a bit of a nuisance feeding the housed cattle and then having to look after the ones that still remain outside, but my silage supply situation is beginning to look a bit better.