Sally Mitchell MRICS, Agricultural Partner at GTH, reports on the livestock and machinery market in the southwest.

Those of you that follow the farming adverts in the press will have noticed that this has been an exceptionally busy year for our dedicated farm sales team. Both in terms of dairy herd dispersals and machinery sales to date, 2018 has without doubt seen the most sales in recent years. I am writing this sat on farm in Sussex where we have a dairy sale tomorrow and in July we are off to Carmarthen for our first sale in Wales.

The low milk price of 18 months ago coupled with one of the longest and hardest winter periods in recent years has put pressure on some that they could no longer withstand. Uncertainty due to Brexit has brought with it a reluctance by some to invest further in their businesses and as a result many have decided to sell. However, at the same time we have seen new producers on the scene who have decided to invest in milk for the future and are securing heifers now to start producing milk this autumn. This, combined with the continuing TB issues, has resulted in a continued demand for replacements and with a strong barren cow trade putting a base in the market, trade has held up remarkably well.

For machinery sales the exchange rate and shortage of cash has resulted in a good trade throughout the spring. However, as with all sales, quality counts and the difference between the very best cows and machinery and the second quality is marked.

The decision to cease a farming enterprise and market your live and dead farming stock is a significant one and Greenslade Taylor Hunt are here to offer any advice and guidance needed to make that decision a successful one.

Sally can be contacted on sally.mitchell@gth.net or 01305 268786