• SCOTLAND'S BEEF farmers have a long way to go if they are to survive a future blighted by much reduced Single Farm Payments and the same appears true for the industry's sheep men, many of whom will not only have to get to grips with working out farm costings but also increasing levels of production.

  • FINISHED PRIME lamb prices may be far from spectacular yet, but the prospects for the remainder of the 2013 crop are optimistic going by the AHDB's latest market update, which claims that on top of last year's reduced GB lamb crop due to the horrendous weather, there was a 3% increase in the number of lambs killed between May and December.

  • INCREASED DEMAND for British Wool at British Wool Marketing Board auctions has bolstered prices for all breeds of sheep with the result that the overall auction price has risen by 30p per kg on the year.

  • INCREASED DEMAND for more accurate Estimated Breeding Values has resulted in the major beef breeds tightening their rules and regulations on all future calf registrations.

  • LIVEWEIGHT LAMB prices have rebounded over the past two weeks, with several Scottish centres now some 20-30p per kg ahead of last year's trade, bolstered by a tightening of numbers during the same period.

  • TRADE REMAINED similar to last month at the Border and Lakeland Holstein Club's show and sale at Carlisle, last week, where an overall average of £2176 was achieved.

  • BULL SALES are the time when minds are concentrated on the investment that is purchased and the consequent risks that follow once the tailboard is dropped in the home yard.

  • THE CROWD went nutty for a fruit cake which sold for £300 at last week's Farmers' Charity Auction at Borderway Mart, Carlisle, where the NFU and five Cumbrian auction marts pulled together to raise in excess of £35,000, for local charities.

  • MORE THAN 2500 items were on offer at last weekend's machinery and implement sale at Aberdeen and Northern Marts' Thainstone centre.

  • FORGET THE doom and gloom surrounding Scotland's beef industry due to the current CAP proposals, producers do have a bright and vibrant future ahead of them, albeit longterm - provided they review their overall farming policy and look to spread their fixed costs even more.