Beefmen set for buoyant times as tide turns in favour
Many politicians are deciding not to contest the upcoming election and are getting out while they are still ahead.
For the past few years, the only reason many beef farmers didn't get out was because they were not 'ahead' and there was nowhere else for them to go.
Thankfully, a number of positives in the sector have ensured that beef men are looking forward with a lot of optimism.
Apart from reduced numbers and a rising world market price, another plus is the recent opening of the trade with Turkey. German farmers report prices to have increased by up to €200/hd since last November.
The feeling in the industry here is that it will be the independent plants outside of Kepak, AIBP, Dawn and Slaney that are likely to supply this market with young bull beef.
Farmers selling at the moment are meeting an interested market with all plants keen to grab stock.
Last week's kill was estimated to be 23,873hd, which was more than 800 animals down on the same week last year.
A base price of 336c/kg is available to be worked off for steers, with a 345c/kg base for heifers. For the in-spec heifers, Donegal is paying 361c/kg, 353c/kg and 344c/kg for U, R and O grades respectively, with the steers at 3c/kg less in each category. If selling young bulls, aim for 350-353c/kg for Us, 339-342c/kg for Rs and 325-328c/kg for O grades.