SCOTTISH PRIME beef cattle prices have slowly but surely been creeping upwards, and with the very best now knocking on the door of 430p per deadweight kg due to a severe shortage of supplies, the fear is that one of Scotland's most popular products has outpriced itself.
LIVESTOCK FARMERS have enjoyed a much better year than 2012, with better quality and extended grass growth following a glorious summer and mild autumn, but it appears to be taking it's toll on the lamb trade which is being dragged down by an increase in the number of over weight and over-spec' lambs.
HEADING UP the sheep lines was an exhibitor who is no stranger to the limelight at the Aberdeen Christmas Classic, having already notched up six championship tickets at the event, making this year his seventh.
YOUNG FARMERS presented a tremendous line-up of prime cattle at Thainstone, on Monday, which easily rivalled the quality of cattle seen during the main show of prime cattle at the Aberdeen Christmas Classic.
BY THE end of a long day, there wouldn't be too much 'TLC' needed for Wilson Peters, of Monzie, Gilmerton, Crieff, who felt no pain after adding the Scottish National Winter Fair championship to his supreme carcase win of the previous week.
A SMALL but selective show and sale of pedigree Charolais bulls and females, at Carlisle, attracted a lead price of 7000gns for the reserve male champion, Thrunton Highclass, from Iain and Bruce Campbell, Thrunton, Alnwick.
TWO LOTS attracted four-figure prices at a show and sale of in-lamb pedigree Zwartbles sheep at Carlisle, last week, where the judge, Colin Milburn, West Farm, Knapton, Malton, bought his choice or reserve champion, for the top price of 1500gns.
SCOTTISH SUFFOLK breeders, Iain Barbour and his sister Judith, who own the Solwaybank flock at Annan, came home in style from the annual sale of females from Willie Tait's Burnview flock and Gary Beacom's Lakeview flock, at Balmoral, Belfast, having purchased the top priced lot at 6200gns.
DESPITE LAST year's abysmal weather, which saw costs of production soar to new levels on many units, improved prices throughout much of the beef sector have resulted in a halt in the decline of overall cattle numbers, with indications that more females are now being retained on farms for breeding.
SUFFOK FEMALES from John Gibb's Cairnton flock from New Pitsligo, Fraserburgh, proved the star attraction at a multi-breed sale of pedigree sheep at United Auctions, Stirling, last weekend, securing the top two prices at 5000gns each for a mother and daughter pairing.