The Friesian bull calf rises to the occasion, as mart prices go up, along with numbers

These four Aberdeen Angus cross steers, born in August 2017, weighed 487kg and sold for €975 at Bandon mart on Monday.

“The Friesian bull is back,” Bandon mart manager, Tom McCarty, said to me at a busy sale of calves on Monday, and he was right. Up from nothing, like the phoenix from the ashes.

The rise of the Friesian bull has taken us all by surprise. The good times for buyers didn’t last too long.

In Bandon on Monday, the shipping calves made from €50 and €101, while Friesian bulls destined to remain anchored here at home made up to €160 a head.

And with this price rise most notable for the stronger Friesian calf, hopefully now farmers might hold onto calves a little longer before taking them to market. No one wants an iochtar.

Big sale in Bandon

Bandon mart had almost 1,600 calves on offer on Monday, with more calves up for grabs again today Thursday at the marts second weekly sale.

If you hurry you might still make it!

And looking at the larger animal on Monday, dry cows in Bandon sold from €50 to €650 with the kilo.

Friesian bullocks made from €120 to €400 with the kilo. Continental bullocks made up to €700 with the kilo.

Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €200 to €580 with the kilo. Heifers in Bandon on Monday sold from €200 to €500 with their weight.

Bandon Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

9 AA steers 341kg 690

5 Fr steers 385kg 595

7 Hr steers 365kg 720

1 AA heifer 645kg 1150

4 AA heifers 481kg 890

1 Sim cow 955kg 1550

1 Fr cow 585kg 1000

With 20 cattle short of 2000, it was all hands on deck at Kanturk mart on Tuesday. This large number of stock included 790 calves.

Mart manager, Seamus O’Keeffe, said: “The lovely weather brought out many visitors, and plenty of customers with grass growing, looking for cattle. It was a steady trade throughout with a 98% clearance.”

At next Saturday’s dairy sale over at Kanturk mart, 25 two-year-old Pedigree Registered calved heifers will be amongst the lots on offer. This dairy sale begins at 1pm.

Kanturk Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

4 AA steers 485kg 945

6 Hr steers 475kg 910

4 Lim steers 605kg 1260

2 Lim heifers 492kg 1070

10 AA heifers 380kg 770

1 Fr cow 740kg 890

1 Fr cow 550kg 840

And the weather was also playing its part in buoying up the mood, and indeed the trade, in Castleisland mart also as local auctioneer, Noel Corcoran, explained when giving us his report.

“The good spring like weather on Wednesday last saw a very big sale of general cattle with a full clearance recorded. A lot more grass men are out this week to source stock.

“And Monday of this week, being a beautiful summer like day, saw 1300 calves going through our Castleisland sale, with a marked increase in prices for all types of calves.

“Prices in many cases were up by €30-€40 a head, with the Friesian bull up €25-€30 a head and more interest being shown by farmer buyers as well as shippers.

“A dairy clearance sale saw lots of local interest, with prices ranging from €1200 to €1650 a head, with more interest being shown in calved stock as opposed to in-calf stock.

These six Aberdeen Angus cross steers, born in March and April 2018, weighed 356kg and sold for €700 at Bandon mart on Monday.
These six Aberdeen Angus cross steers, born in March and April 2018, weighed 356kg and sold for €700 at Bandon mart on Monday.

Castleisland Wednesday & Thursday

No Breed Sex Weight €

6 AA steers 376kg 650

5 Ch steers 647kg 1445

2 Lm steers 658kg 1365

3 Ch heifers 280kg 645

2 Lm heifers 524kg 1125

1 Fr cow 712kg 900

1 AA cow 620kg 755

In Macroom mart on Saturday dry cows sold from €100 under to €440 over the kilo. Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bullocks sold from €225 to €665 with their weight.

Continental bullocks made from €330 to €735 with their weight. Heifers in Macroom mart made from €220 to €580 with the kilo.

Macroom Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 AA steers 605kg 1270

4 Hr steers 410kg 880

3 BB steers 605kg 1340

2 Ch steers 625kg 1330

3 Lm heifers 575kg 1355

1 Lm cow 735kg 1175

1 Fr cow 700kg 980

Dungarvan mart manager, Ger Flynn, reported “A very big sale with a strong demand for quality store cattle,” after Monday’s cattle sale.

Dungarvan Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 AA steers 665kg 1300

4 Lm steers 532kg 1130

2 Fr steers 582kg 1030

2 BB heifers 520kg 1060

3 AA heifers 458kg 900

1 Fr cow 555kg 800

1 Fr cow 590kg 790

Skibbereen manager Tom McCarthy reported “a right good trade for cattle here on Friday.” Dry cows sold from €100 under to €400 with the kilo. Continental bullocks made up to €770 with the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €300 to €570 with the kilo. Heifers here sold from €250 to €610 with the kilo. Dairy stock made from €950 to €1,480 in Skibbereen on Friday.

Skibbereen Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

4 Sim steers 518kg 1180

4 Lm steers 360kg 990

1 Lm heifer 390kg 900

2 Ch heifers 305kg 870

1 Hr heifer 445kg 930

1 Hr cow 785kg 1080

1 Sim cow 630kg 920

The excellent spring weather that we are experiencing right now, has not only given you and I a lift but more importantly still, it gave a lift to the cattle trade in Kilmallock on Monday.

Kilmallock mart had 1900 stock on offer, this number included 700 calves. Bullocks here sold for up to €2.63 per kg. Weanling bulls hit a high of €2.44 per kg.

Dry cows (Kilmallock had 200 on offer) made up to €1140, or €1.71 per kg. Weanling heifers sold for up to €3.30 per kg with strong hiefers making up to €2.16 per kg.

Dairy stock made up to €2050, with Denis Kirby of GVM telling me all about the demand. “We had a super dairy trade. A clearance sale of 63 dairy cows met a fantastic trade, with many lots selling for in the range of €2050, €2020, €2000.”

These two Friesian steers, born in February 2018, weighed 490kg and sold for €775 at Bandon mart on Monday.
These two Friesian steers, born in February 2018, weighed 490kg and sold for €775 at Bandon mart on Monday.

Dairy stock at Kilmallock on Monday were purchased by farmers from Tipperary, Cavan, Mayo, Clare, Limerick and of course Cork.

On this coming Saturday March 30th Kilmallock mart’s first spring organic sale takes place beginning at 11am.

Also on Friday March 30th, a breeding and factory bull sale takes place at the Limerick mart, starting also at 1pm.

Kilmallock Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Ch steers 357kg 940

1 Lm steer 535kg 1290

2 Hr steers 525kg 1200

7 Hr steers 444kg 1090

1 AA heifer 345kg 660

4 Hr heifers 315kg 625

1 Fr cow 485kg 765

Ennis Mart on Tuesday had a big sale of calves, weanlings, dairy and suckler stock. The Clare mart had over 1,100 on offer, this number included 300 calves.

Anne Keane of Clare CO-Op marts reported: “We had a steady calf trade with Friesian bulls making from €40 to €190, and a slight bit more appetite from shippers. Weanling bulls an improved trade with shippers and farmers competing. The heifer (weanling) trade was very strong, also driven by farmers.

“A great trade for suckler stock with pairs making up to €2,280. Dairy stock generally made from €1,000 to €1,570.”

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