Calves: Similar to 2020 early calf sales have started off with some very high prices being given for dairy-beef calves this week. While early calves are obviously going to attract a premium, be careful around the price you pay. I’ve seen 16-day-old Aberdeen Angus and Hereford calves hit €300 on a regular basis over the last seven to 10 days.
I don’t want to talk down the trade but there is a slim chance of making any margin at these prices. Within an efficient dairy-beef system there are two key variables which will have the largest impact on profitability. You are in full control of what you pay for calves, while there is very little control on where beef price will be in 2023 when these calves will be slaughtered. Every year there seems to be more and more interest among farmers switching to dairy-calf-to-beef systems or at least dipping their toe in the water.