There will always be a market for the “live” auction ring for breeding cattle, they told worried farmers.
An online meeting hosted by The Farmer Network, based in Penrith, took place after growing concerns from the farming community that they might not be allowed access to livestock auctions during the special annual sales in the fall months.
Currently, all auctioneers ask sellers to operate on a system called “drop and go”.
Buyers can still stand around the arena under strict distancing and movement rules, but sellers must put their cattle up for auction and leave immediately without entering the auction building.
Chris Dodds, Executive Secretary of the Livestock Auctioneers Association, gave the 30 farmers an overview of the discussions and negotiations with Defra, and the need for auctioneers and farmers to work together, taking great care going forward. to respect social distancing rules when entering livestock markets. .
Ted Ogden, CCM Markets Auctioneer, Skipton, assured farmers that everything will be done to ensure buyers and sellers can safely enter the market in the future.
The company was also exploring new horizons with live streaming, timed auctions and other online sales.
Glyn Lucas, pedigree dairy auctioneer at H&H Group, said he was convinced that the “live” ring would always be the primary sales platform for breeding cattle.
However, its recent online sales during the Covid 19 epidemic had gone well, especially in the dairy sector.
“It’s a new environment and it will take some getting used to, but it has a sure future,” Glyn said.
Sarah Alderton from Penrith wondered if auctioneers can provide advice and support to sellers on how to properly photograph and display animals for online catalogs, as this is a core skill for do well and give buyers confidence.
Richard Betton of Upper Teesdale feared a second peak in the virus would have serious implications for the fall sales program, which was essential for farming communities across the country.
Andrew Wright, of Mitchells Auction Mart in Cockermouth, said he believes auctioneers need to work together at the local level to ensure there is minimum disruption and consistent working practices.
Closing the meeting, President Adam Day said: “Auctioneers have to adapt and overcome a very difficult challenge. Communication and cooperation with clients and other auctioneers will be essential in the coming months. Everyone has a duty of vigilance ”.