HOPEFULLY you will all have submitted your SP5 forms for this year despite the RPA's website crashing on a regular basis.
Late submissions will be accepted but will be subject to penalties. Let us hope that by 2015 the RPA have sorted out a fully functioning website or we will all be suffering penalties!
Agricultural land remains in keen demand as was seen at a recent auction when two fields average £9,750 per acre. Not the dearest on the face of it but poor access, rights of way, wayleaves and a large badger set were all detriments which made the sale price better than on first appearance.
Volatility in agricultural prices seems to be the order of the day.
Beef prices have tumbled this spring reducing the value of larger animals by over £200 per head.
Store cattle have remained firm reflecting the demand for cattle to graze out over the summer. Cereal prices fell during the winter but are creeping back up but still remain around £40 per tonne down on 12 months ago.
Milk prices having risen in 2013 are now starting to drop back if Arla and Muller are a guide to the future. Sheep and pig prices have been up on their 2013 equivalent but look to be falling below those levels.
Meanwhile fertilizer has generally been just below the 2013 price but that could easily change. Yet again farming is at the vagaries of the international markets in which the UK is a relatively small player.
Staffordshire County Show takes place on May 28/29 - two days packed with a variety of events have been arranged by the organisers. Advance tickets are available at various sources and at the Showground office and online up to May 22.
Come and see everything from livestock, farm machinery, woodland demonstrations, poultry, dogs as well as main ring attractions, horses, the Food Hall etc, etc.
I hope you will all come along.