• AT long, long last, prime beef cattle prices appear to be heading in the right direction with the most recent GB all prime average price increasing by more than a penny to 326.7p per dwkg - the first week this year, it has risen by more than a fraction.

  • INCREASED supplies coupled with subdued demand during this warm summer spell, have resulted in pig prices falling to their lowest point since April 2013, with the UK-spec DAPP falling for the fourth consecutive week to 158.02p per kg.

  • BRITISH farmers are estimated to have spent if the order of £1.9bn on farm equipment in 2013 with a similar level of expenditure expected in 2014, according to a report from the Agricultural Engineers Association, which states tractors - generally the best indicator of activity - showed an increase of 4% on the year during the first six months of the year.

  • With feed barley prices currently trading at about £95 per tonne ex-farm, livestock producers have the chance to dramatically cut feed costs whilst also maximising output by shortening finishing times.

  • PRIME beef cattle prices have been less than 2012 values for the past three months and with the recent plummet in lamb values, sheep farmers have not not fared much better, but it appears deer farmers are also struggling despite the fact venison sales have soared over the past year.

  • PRIME lamb prices are still falling and virtually on a daily basis, but there is positive news in the sector going by the first of the early breeding ewe and store lamb sales.

  • FOLLOWING the recent sharp drop in the lamb trade, prices are slowly but surely beginning to level off with some centres actually reporting an increase in averages during the last seven days of auction mart trading.

  • Finished beef and lamb prices may have dropped markedly during the year, but so too are feed and forage values following the early spring and summer months which should ultimately reduce input costs for hard-pressed livestock farmers.

  • AT LONG last, prime cattle prices appear to have at least stabilised following seven months of almost continuous decline, during which time prices have fallen anything from £200 to £400 per head.

  • STORE lamb values fell just short of £12 per head but for almost double the number sold at Craven Cattle Marts opening show and sale at Skipton, last week, where a strong entry of 4087 cashed in at £56.73, compared to last year's average of £68.18 for 2231.