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TheBeefSite Newsletter - 12 June 2013

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Wednesday 12th June 2013.
Michael Priestley - Editor

Michael Priestley

Spanish Market Benefits As Bull Calf Values Sink

Northern Ireland’s beef farmers are faced with selling dairy sired bull calves at half the price of last year, with some going for £10 a head.

Through 2012, a price bracket of £60-100 was typically quoted but, this year, farmers are lucky to get £50, according to the latest insights from the Livestock and Meat Commission Northern Ireland.

They say that although there has been a six per cent contraction in the numbers of calves in the country, domestic demand has fallen even more substantially this spring.

Poor summer breeding conditions last year have been blamed for lowering cow suckler herd fertility. Calf registrations have dropped by more than 15,000 this year between January and the start of June.

Reasons for the drop in demand from local beef units are manifold, as are the reasons why shippers are receiving greater interest for calves from abroad, say LMC analysts.

Calf exports up until June have shot up 22 per cent on the same period in 2012. Already over 10,500 calves have been shipped this year with 88 per cent heading to Spain.

Italy (6.5 per cent) and Eire (5.1 per cent) make up the other major buyers who, like Spain, are benefiting from a strong Eurozone against the UK’s sterling.

Poor spring grass growth and a prevalence of Holstein genetics in Northern Ireland’s dairy sired calves means farmers are faced with the prospects of high feed costs for animals with poor conformation characteristics.

In addition to production costs, marketing wiry Holstein bull calves is another complication due to current processor demands.

Consequently, trade within the country has declined as beef farmers are not interested in buying a bull calf that cannot be grown and finished on concentrates profitably. The LMC added that recent grass growth problems, extending back to last summer, have disuaded beef farmers from grass rearing dairy calves.

The Livestock and Meat Commission has attributed continental demand for black and white calves to input costs.

In Spain, Friesian bulls are largely fed ad-lib cereals and straw and reared on a 12 month bull beef system. Economics of the different countries mean this is more profitable in Spain.

Over in Italy it is the veal market that prompts calf buying. This is up to 6.5 per cent of total calf exports.


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This Week's Articles and Analysis

Fly Management Techniques
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Benefits of a Green Maternity Ward Beef Cows
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Keys to Success When Harvesting Alfalfa as Baleage
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Mythematics: Distorting Data For Shock Value
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The Relationship Between Nutritional Status and Bovine Welfare Associated to Adoption of Intensive Silvopastoral Systems in Tropical Conditions
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Market Reports

Agriculture in the United Kingdom 2012

Global Beef Industry News

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NFU Supports USDA Initiatives Helping Farmers to Adapt to Climate Change
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Cattle Outlook: Beef Exports Down in April
Groups Petition President Obama over Misuse of Antibiotics
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Consumer Sentiment Improves
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   United Kingdom

Managing Calving Patterns and Suckler Herd Fertility
Royal Backing for Red Meat Export Work
LMC: Calf Exports Increase With 88 per Cent Spain Bound
UK Farmers Tackle Air Quality
LMC: Quotes Steady As Top Live Heifers Fetch 230p/kg
LMC: Cattle Slaughterings Up on Year on Year As Production Drops
TB Monitoring Under New Quality Control Scheme
NFUS: Scottish Shoppers Duped by Misleading Labelling
Farmer Input Required For Production Cost Database
Smarter Rules for Safer Food
Endangered Whitebred Shorthorn Puts Pressure on Blue Grey Cattle


April Beef Output Up 20 Per Cent Year On Year
New Livestock Transport Rules Promoted
Bovine Anaemia Detected in Western Australia
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   Korea, South

Government Compensates Farmers for Losses due to FTA


Pan-South American Programme To Target Brucellosis and Leptospirosis

   New Zealand

Technology Showcase to Illustrate Importance to Exports


SPACE 2013: Top Livestock Event


China to Hold Nationwide Safety Overhaul
FMD Outbreak in China Affects Pigs and Cattle


FMD NEWS: OIE Reports FMD Outbreaks in China, Russia & Kazakhstan
US Joins Call to End Food Waste
OECD-FAO Expect Slower Global Ag Production Growth


More Cattle Affected by FMD in Kazakhstan
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   Russian Federation

FMD Outbreak in Russia Affects Cattle


Concerns Irish Beef Sector will be Sacrificed in EU Trade Talks with Canada


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