The demand by exporters for heavy cattle seems to be underpinning the beef trade as we head into peak sales. Beef markets look strong, supplies are tight and given the differential between what finished animals are making between Northern Ireland and the Republic, there is room for more positive price increases.

Again, it highlights the functioning market dynamics that works for farmers between live selling in marts and the meat processors.

On a related note, it seems like the free trade agreement between Australia and the EU looks to be on hold. Both parties haven’t agreed on the volumes of beef, sheep and sugar in return for rare minerals from Australia.

Dairy markets also seem to be improving and should at least put a floor under September price which will be set in the next two weeks. The cost inflation at farm level and the fall in dairy markets since January will make margins from producing milk this autumn very thin.

Time to get the farm ready for winter

Given the rain that is falling, some farmers have been left with no choice but to house cattle. While it is only early October, heavy land simply won’t dry out despite better weather in the forecast.

This week, Martin Merrick suggests that now is the time to tidy up shed essentials so that you get optimum thrive for least cost. It’s often the basics like feed face space that are important. It’s worthwhile reviewing feed stocks in light of the earlier than expected indoor feed demand. Given mart prices some will consider selling in marts also.