Today's confirmation that the OTM Rule will cease to operate in the UK from Monday November 7th gives the industry seven weeks to prepare the ground for the smooth re-entry of beef from older cattle.
Although relatively short this period should be enough for burger processors to wind down their import commitments and place new orders with the dozens of UK companies that are preparing to re-enter the manufacturing beef market.
This means farmers can feel confident about picking out suitable young cows for finishing and auction markets should make sure they gather together enough feeding cows to ensure a good selection.
Income prospects for both breeders and finishers are good because the current average for 0-3 cows in the Republic of Ireland, which is an indicator of likely UK prices, is 135p per dwkg compared with just 89p from the OTM cull.
There are reports that demand for manufacturing beef in all EU countries is strengthening.
The new Older Cattle Disposal Scheme (OCDS) which will be used to handle cows born before August 1996, and are not able to come back onto the market, is expected to begin in mid-December.
Up until then cattle born after the end of July 1996 can be offered either for commercial slaughter or put through the OTMS. This gives breeders the chance to dispose of poor quality cows for a guaranteed price per kilo over the first weeks of the new system while the market is still bedding down.
At this stage it is expected that the restrictive Date Based Export Scheme (DBES) will be removed sometime in mid-December. After export markets for prime beef and cow beef are re-established in Europe market prices for slaughter animals in the UK could be stronger.