After price increases of up to £20/t in January, there is little change to feed prices across NI in February.

Most cattle rations are holding around the £240/t mark for 16% general purpose blends, with some pelleted mixes closer to £250/t depending on soya content.

Beef finishing rations are also around the £240/t mark for a 50% maize mix. Ewe rations range from £280/t for 18% protein rations rising to £290/t for 20% protein. Dairy rations are costing north of £270/t depending on soya levels.

Soya is currently £470 to £480/t delivered on farm. Availability is increasing after strike action in Argentina during late December.

Spot market prices may see soya easing by £10 to £20/t for March, but is unlikely to have any significant impact on ration prices. Soya hulls are still extremely limited in availability and prices are on application only.

Rolled barley delivered on farm is steady at £220/t while maize meal is also holding around £235 to £240/t.

Maize gluten is costing around £235/t on farm with beet pulp at similar levels. Maize distillers is in high demand and prices are typically £295 to £300/t on farm.

Meanwhile, there are signs of slightly more purchasing activity for silage. Reports indicate good quality bales of first cut are making £18 to £20 with prices of just over £30/t for high quality pit silage. Second cut bales and moderate quality fodder is moving around the £15 per bale mark.

Straw prices are also edging upwards with reports of £75 to £80 for 8x4x3 bales of barley straw and round 4x4 bales costing £28 to £30.

Read more

Dairylink: assessing fibre content of dairy rations

Beef factories pull cattle quotes for next week