Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Heavy Cows Are Favoured

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Heavy Cows Are Favoured

Article excerpt

Byline: By Anna Lognonne

Good cows capable of producing heavy carcases and classifying 3 or 4L for fat cover may earn as much as 120-140p per dwkg from slaughter companies ready to process older beef during the week beginning November 7, the National Beef Association said yesterday.

And sellers with lighter, thinner cows should watch the trade carefully to see whether the OTMS, which will continue to offer around 87.4p before it comes to its expected end early in the New Year, or the open market, is their best sales option.

"The message from slaughterers keen to be among the first to handle cows born after July 1996 is that they will initially be looking for biggish animals likely to classify O+ or better in conformation and will be waiting to see how the commercial market for thinner, lighter cows develops before they commit themselves," explained NBA chief executive Robert Forster.

"This almost certainly means that dairy cows likely to attract early business interest will be special types that have been fed before being presented.And the owners of suckler cows that are below average weight, have been culled because of their poor condition score, or show obvious signs in the hindquarter, or across its back, of Holstein breeding should study the way prices are moving before deciding either to use the OTMS or take advantage of the market." The NBA is also warning prospective sellers to take account of the impact on the net return from commercial cows of abattoir deductions, commissions and other offtakes that animals put through the OTMS avoid.

"The most obvious of these is the result of carcase dressing on the payable weight. Payment on carcases moving through the OTMS is calculated after the head, hide, feet and tail are removed," said Mr Forster.

"However, commercial carcases will be subject to further trimming. …

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