Page 1

AgriFacts October 2018 Your monthly roundup of news, prices and other farming matters

Livestock Market Update Cattle Prices - There has been a recent rise in both deadweight and liveweight cattle prices after a very dry summer, however prices are still 4.57p below 2017 levels, but up 6.55p on the 5-year average. Overall steer prices sit at 370.3p/kg, whilst heifers sit marginally higher at 371.2p/kg. Of all prime cattle, there has been a 1,274 decrease in throughput between 15/01/2018 and 08/09/18. Overall prime cattle numbers are said to be up approximately 800 head on the same week in 2017, it is believed that markets could see an increase in the stock levels in the coming month as producers decide whether they have suitable forage levels to see these cattle through the winter. Within the store ring, numbers forward have been comparable of latter years however the demand for cattle has left a two-tier market with buyers being more selective and happy to pay for the first quality cattle leaving second and third rate stock falling behind. The lack of forage being the main driver going into winter housing. Prices remain firm for those that ‘fit the bill’ with well bred cattle still selling in excess of 200p/kg. Lamb Prices - Towards the end of September, liveweight lamb prices have eased slightly, however still sit around 170.60p/kg, 7.5p above prices this time last year.

to abattoirs, with slaughtering’s being 2% higher than this time last week. Store lamb numbers are on the seasonal rise meeting comparable prices to last year, there is however a slight lack of demand for short keep lambs due to grass shortage and lack of enthusiasm in the prime ring. Breeding ewe sale are nearing the seasonal end, and what a harder season it has been, the lack of grass in the spring/summer has left ewes lacking the quality and growth compared to previous years. Nonetheless, first quality well bred yearlings have still attracted top prices despite the uncertainty in the sheep business going forward, however a large number of harder placed ewes have entered the market this year seeing a national average decrease of £8 per head. Future breeding stock has faced the harshest season with running ewe lambs falling foul of the lack of summer growth. In the north, markets have reported some running ewe lambs have seen a drop of £20 per head with purchasers looking for less numbers due to the lack of demand for yearlings this autumn.

Deadweight prices have fallen over 9p in the week ending 15 September which follows trends from the previous 4 weeks also, however this was still 9p above levels recorded earlier in the year.

Pig Market - Pig market prices continue to fall, with UK Standard Pig Price sitting at 145.12p/kg, down 14.30p on last year’s price. Estimations predict that slaughterings were down around 4,500 head on the previous week. However, reports suggest that supply is successfully meeting demand, even though these figures are not as high as what would be expected for this time of year.

Auction markets have seen a fall in the throughput of lambs, which is unusual for late September as this is generally when numbers begin to go up. However, this could also be due to livestock farmers choosing to sell direct

(Source: AHDB, 2018)

Month (ex farm) Midlands

Feed Wheat

Feed Barley

Oilseed Rape


Oct 2018




£/€ =1.1385

Nov 2018




€/£ = 0.8784

Dec 2018




$/£ = 0.7654

Milk Data

Avg Monthly Price

UK Farmgate Milk Price

29.73 ppl





Red Diesel


34% N AN (bags UK) £/tonne


Big sq Baled Wheat Straw


0:24:24 blend (bags) £/tonne


Big Bale Hay


20:10:10 blend (bags) £tonne


p/kg dwt

Finished Steers

Finished Lambs

Finished Pigs




Agricultural Bill

2018 BPS Exchange Rate Set

The Agricultural Bill was presented by Parliament to the Government on 12 September 2018, and although not definitive, it includes provisions about direct payments during an agricultural transition period following Brexit. It is believed that BPS Payments will be simplified and delinked from land, whilst capping may come into force in 2021 in tiered reductions, with payments progressively reduced to zero by 2028.

The euro exchange rate for calculating BPS 2018 payments has been set. The rate, an average of the European Central Bank exchange rates set in September, will be €1 = £0.89281. BPS payments for England are set in euros and then converted into sterling.

A new Environmental Land Management (ELM) scheme will be introduced nationally in 2025 – 2027. The intention is for this to enable Farmers and Landowners to receive public funds for public goods. These are likely to be as diverse as public access to flood protection, soil health improvement and habitat creation/ protection. Existing stewardship agreements will run out in the meantime; however it is relatively likely that current HLS schemes may be extended whilst the new scheme is developed.

The previous years’ exchange rates for BPS were: BPS 2017: €1 = £0.89470 BPS 2016: €1 = £0.85228

Download the rural app now

Grant funding is also provided for in the Bill and is likely to be focussed on collaboration, innovation and efficiency, to set farmers up for a future without direct support.

Download on the App Store

Get it on Googleplay

Key Dates Date



30 September

Countryside Stewardship

For option BN5 Hedgerow Laying – hedges may be laid between 30 September and 31 March next year, while hedge is still dormant.

1 October


Start of Cover Crop period where being used to meet 2018 BPS Ecological Focus Area requirements (cover crops must remain in place until 5 January next year).

1 October

Cross Compliance

Start of closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (for example, slurry, poultry manures or liquid digested sewage sludge) to cultivated/arable land on soils which are not shallow or sandy.

Cross Compliance

Start of closed period for applying organic manure with a high readily available nitrogen content (for example, slurry, poultry manures or liquid digested sewage sludge) to grassland on soils which are not shallow or sandy.

Cross Compliance

If you hold a summer water abstraction licence (authorising abstraction wholly within the months of April to October), the Environment Agency will make actual abstraction return forms available to you from 31 October. You then have 28 days to send your readings to the Environment Agency.

15 October

31 October 01858 410200

Fisher German is a limited liability partnership, registered in England and Wales. Registered number: OC317554 Registered office: The Head Office, Ivanhoe Office Park, Ivanhoe Park Way, Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire LE65 2AB Regulated by RICS Fisher German LLP has tried to ensure accuracy and cannot accept liability for any errors, fact or opinion. Please do not use this as all the advice needed to make decisions.

Agrifacts October 2018  
Agrifacts October 2018