Hundreds of dairy heifers are being imported from Europe by milk producers hunting for affordable replacements. But the flood of cattle shows no sign of undermining consistently strong cattle values, say traders.
The combination of expanding herds seeking extra cows, the constant stream of animals needed to replace TB losses, and the legacy of beef bulls in dairy herds mean farmers are seeking European dairy heifers, often significantly cheaper than at UK sales.
In some cases, heifers shipped from France, Germany and Holland might cost producers €1300 a head, compared with £1500-£1800 needed to secure a first rate, commercial freshly calved heifer at the ringside.
A pound Sterling is worth $1.65. Those are pretty pricey dairy animals.
While there is talk of the dairy demand falling globally, the U.S. is much worse off than the rest of the world.