With a depressed beef price, it has never been more important for producers to ensure they are doing everything possible to achieve the best possible return on their stock.
Steve Powdrill, AHDB technical manager for beef and lamb, says: “It might have been said many times before, but knowing your market is key. There is no point producing something then having to decide where to sell it.
“Understand what your market is and what it requires, keeping the end consumer in mind at all times.
"For the industry to thrive, we have to encourage consumers to eat a balanced diet with meat forming a key component, and for that to happen we need to produce a consistently high quality product. Farmers have to take responsibility towards that.
“What you produce may need to change as markets evolve, but the type of cattle you keep will also depend on what suits your farm and your system.
“Consider breed or cross, taking into account killing out percentage and potential yield, as well as finishing weight and age, and if there are any premium schemes available.
“There are plenty of selling options: deadweight, through the auction market, marketing groups and collection centres, but make sure you match what you produce to the right outlet to maximise returns.
“Different markets have different requirements, but wherever you choose to sell, communication is key.
“Talk to the processor or auctioneer. Ensure you know exactly what you are being paid for, what deductions there are, what the specification is and terms of trade.”
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Source: Steve Powdrill, AHDB