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24 February 2022

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From the Rostrum, David Holliday


It’s great to see that we’re getting back to normality again after a challenging couple of years. Here at Carlisle, we have a great market for dairy cattle; from cast cows to in calf cows, to cows in milk and young calves right up to store cattle from dairy herds. More people are back in the market which is fantastic to see and has resulted in the cow trade setting off well in 2022 and continuing to strengthen.

Carlisle is an excellent platform for trading all types of stock, and in fact two week’s ago we saw a new record price set for a Limousin cast cow tipping the scales at 1041kg and selling for £2430, which is incredible.  At 233.5p/kg it is well above the current average for continental cast cows which last week sat at 174.1 p/kg (up 20.7p) on the previous week.

The average for dairy cast cows was also up by 11.3p /kg on the previous week at 136.7p /kg and looking ahead I would anticipate trade to continue to increase as numbers are tightening. Milk is a good price and dairy farmers are keeping cows in production longer, if feasible, and I see no change to this short term.

Compared to the same time last year we are currently seeing a rise of approximately 15% in prices achieved which is very good news for dairy farmers. Demand for this market is both local outlets as well as export trades and we regularly have in the region of 24 buyers every week.

On average, we are seeing in the region of 300 to 350 animals going through the sale rings weekly here at Borderway which is 15% up on the year. This partly due to people travelling from a wider geographic area to sell stock, with customers coming from as far as Aberdeen, Wooler, Darlington and Cheshire.



As with the cast cow trade, trade for dairy calves, store cattle and stirks has also started off really strong this year and it looks like this will continue into the spring and summer. Again, we are also seeing increasing numbers coming through the rings. There is a strong demand from producers who want to produce beef from dairy animals as it produces excellent quality beef for an important sector of the market. Additionally, we have also recently held some very good dispersal sales and have several in the diary in the coming weeks.

Aside from cattle, I also look after the second-hand machinery sales, and good quality second-hand equipment, especially tractors and implements, are meeting with high demand from both the UK and overseas markets. Last year we made the decision to hold these sales online, and which has really opened up the market for both vendors and purchasers, broadened our reach and also enabled us to cater for the international markets.  Last week we realised one of highest value ever sale of this type.

Viewing takes place virtually which means people do not need to travel and as a result we are seeing more and more machinery exported across to Europe. Again, like the dairy sector, I do not see an immediate diminish in these sales any time soon.

Here at Carlisle, our focus now turns to Borderway UK Dairy Expo on Saturday 12th March. This event not only showcases the best of dairy stock from across the UK, but it also provides a platform for dairy farmers to see the latest industry trends and innovations, whether that be genetics, nutrition, equipment or machinery. This year is the tenth anniversary of the event and we have added a number of new elements to the programme which we look forward to sharing with you.