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Stackyard News Sep 07

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Farmers Turn to Season’s New Problems Post FMD

The National Beef Association has welcomed Friday’s (September 7th) confirmation of the clearance of the remaining FMD movement controls and a return to normal management practice.


“It gives British beef farmers a much welcomed chance to plan their businesses without the added problems of a 20 day movement standstill, impediments to auction sales, and other intrusive restrictions,” said the Association’s director, Kim Haywood.

“The stepped relaxations on in-farm movements should have given everyone a chance to put their breeding stock exactly where they want them to be and now farmers will, at last, be able to turn their minds to unfettered replenishment and dispersal.”

Although the return to normal from the all-industry shutdown on August 3rd has taken just five weeks the NBA accepts that the restrictions have been a burden for every business and that for many the resumption of standard trading practices could not have come quick enough.

“Strong assistance from the entire industry has helped to put the FMD crisis to bed which means farmers are once again able to give their full attention to new pressures which include a debilitating rise in grain prices, some poor quality forage, and serious interruptions to cash flow,” Ms Haywood said.

“The restoration of the auction system will assist greatly with the latter, particularly through the necessary re-establishment of competitive prices for all types of slaughter cattle.”

“And breeders are also urged to take advantage of the surprisingly high prices being offered for dairy beef calves at auction compared with those offered by private agents.”

”Nor will it take long for the real national value of both store and breeding stock to emerge now that regular sales are re-established.”

“This will help farmers make their own plans to counter unexpectedly radical rises in cereal prices and develop strategies that can minimise their impact.”

“The NBA is hoping that a surge in re-opened export demand will help to strengthen cull cow prices and believes it is possible that cereal price problems may be eased if cheaper maize imports are allowed to enter the UK later this year.”

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