Looking ahead to winter 2022, Irish Farmers Journal analysis of winter finishing shows that a beef price of €6.08/kg will be needed in spring 2023 if autumn store prices remain the same as last year.

This is based on silage costs at €50/t and meal at €450/t. Currently, store cattle are running €150/head more expensive than this time last year.

Cheap stores aren’t the answer to the problem, as suckler farmers will also need to see an increase in weanling prices of €200/head to make ends meet based on higher fertiliser, meal and energy costs.

If this €200/head increased weanling price is added into the winter finishing budget, the required beef price will be closer to €7/kg to cover costs.

Looking at figures on the Irish Farmers Journal beef and sheep demonstration farm comparing the 2021 bulls to this year’s animals, a U- bull was being sold at €1,736/head.

Ration costs are up almost €300/head on 2021 levels based on bulls eating 1.6t of ration

This year’s sale price for the same bull will be up €300/head but the input costs for producing that bull will be up €350/head so the farm will be €50/head worse off in 2022.

Ration costs are up almost €300/head on 2021 levels based on bulls eating 1.6t of ration. Frustration is mounting within beef finishing circles that the Irish price hasn’t kept track of gains seen in the EU market over the last 12 months.

The average EU R3 young bull price is up €1.40/kg compared with the same week last year. The average Irish R3 bullock price is up 90c/kg on the same week last year.

Read more in Beef Trends here.