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19th January, 2020

Pedigree Holstein freshly calved cows making onwards of £1800 at sales

It is difficult to explain at first instance of why the price of freshly calved cows are making onwards of £1800 when the base milk price is £0.24 in the North of Ireland.

The demand for freshly calved cows far outstrips availability. There are number of reasons explaining this feature:

  • The incidence of TB has increased dramatically in the past 2 years. This has resulted in depopulation of some herds and decrease of herd size. With a consequent need for purchases for re-establishment of dairy herds.
  • The exit of farmers from suckler farming has increased the number of new dairy start ups.
  • Two of the largest pedigree Holstein herds in the North of Ireland are currently locked up with TB. These herds would have average of 15/20 freshly calved cows at sales in Dungannon on weekly bases.
  • The removal of quotas has seen a further increase in herd size among those currently in dairy with consequent increase in demand.
  • There is an increased emphasis among many dairy farmers to focus on milk production as the sole entity on the farm. Therefor beef stock bulls are used to generate beef calves for sale. All replacements are purchased as freshly calved animals into the farm.