Tipperary farmers have been urged to hang tough when it comes to selling cattle in the aftermath of Storm Emma.
The call came from ICSA beef chairman Edmund Graham who called on farmers to look for higher beef prices this week from factories.
“Supermarket shelves are empty and factories will be under pressure to get beef moving to supermarket distribution centres. Factory supplies are low following the bad weather and farmers with numbers of cattle are in a strong position to get a price above the typical quotes available over the past few weeks,” he said.
Mr Graham said that the reality was that winter finishers had endured a long hard winter and prices available this spring had been totally inadequate to cover the costs involved.
“The empty supermarket shelves show that farmers are the vital link in the food chain and it is timely to demand a price that reflects the importance of the job we do,” he said
Mr Graham warned that consumers who took cheap food for granted needed to realise that they were only ever a few days away from a food scarcity panic and that the supermarket model of squeezing the farmer was barely sustainable.
Meanwhile, IFA livestock chairman Angus Woods said the beef trade had strengthened this week with some factories increasing quotes by 5c/kg.
He said, in general, the base price for steers being bought this week is €3.95/kg and €4.05/kg for heifers.
Some plants are quoting lower but others are doing deals at higher levels to secure numbers.
He said price offers of €4.08 to €4.10/kg for heifers have been made.
Mr Woods said that the cow trade was strong, driven by very strong demand for manufacturing beef.
He said very few cows were selling below €3,30/kg with the majority trading between €3.40 and €3.60/kg and top quality cows making over €3.70/kg.