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17 March 2021

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Providing the largest viable market for all calves

Livestock market adapts to GB Dairy Calf Strategy

With livestock markets reporting a flying calf trade, and a quarter of a million calves going through the live sales ring every year in England and Wales, the live system represents the largest viable marketplace for dairy calves.

As the GB Dairy Calf Strategy identifies new outlets to ensure calves are utilised in the food chain, the live auction system continually adapts to re-shape marketing opportunities.

“There has been a shift from the number of dairy bred calves to beef, through vendors choosing a more strategic breeding programme. Stricter milk contracts also mean farmers must make more informed choices when selling livestock,” explains Harrison & Hetherington’s calf auctioneer, Paul Gardner, running the weekly Borderway calf sales alongside Joe Bowman.

Carlisle ring sees 350 calves sold on a weekly basis, some weeks seeing in excess of 450 calves forward, with 70% beef sired and 30% dairy.

“The live ring actively supports farmers in their choices, providing reassurance and feedback on how compliance to such standards is easily achieved, whilst giving the farmer access to the best markets possible for their calves,” he adds.

Full report available through the Livestock Auctioneers Association - https://www.laa.co.uk/news/4100/providing-the-largest-viable-market-for-all-calves/