I was slightly aghast when reading Aidan Brennan’s article from your 13 April edition, with his suggestion of removing dam details as he referred to “simplifying the mart display boards”.

At present, farmers that rear calves are exiting the sector. We need to encourage those that are still there to stay. The majority of calf rearers resell these stock as yearlings or stores, and yes, some carry them to finish.

These calf rearers have to cope with market forces – it’s a small margin game.

At present, we are hopefully at the low point of confidence within the calf rearing sector, however we cannot be certain of that.

One thing is certain – calf rearers and buyers in general are entitled to as much information as they wish on the mart board.

Already in some marts, in online situations, we see the removal of sellers’ names from the boards. Maybe the next step is to put a black shroud over the animal, or darken the area and buyers can bid blind.

Some marts are weighing calves, which is a significant help, especially to online buyers. Over the last five years those in the beef sector have had to contend with a collapse of finished weight and grading of stock.

This has filtered down to calf prices, and along with a reduction in rearers and a significant increase in calf numbers, these rearers have choices as to what they will buy and how much they pay. It’s significant that the present price collapse is not just affecting a certain type of calf, but it is across the board.

It will take a significant amount of time to get confidence back into the calf rearing sector.

Some costs have increased and there is little support to the sector.

I am not a calf rearer, but I buy at the 12-18 month stage and carry these stock to finish. There is one thing worse than a poor price – it’s a market with no buyers.