Markets: Solid sales at marts are hopefully a sign of better times ahead

Being the plucky fellow I am, I had plans on Monday to head to some faraway mart like Castleisland or Dungarvan.
Markets: Solid sales at marts are hopefully a sign of better times ahead

However with an improvement in the weather, and becoming anxious to get a few silage fields in order, I found myself not drawn to the long road, so instead I headed for nearby Bandon Mart.

The turnaround with the weather is amazing. Last week we could hardly move away from the farm due to the frost and snow; this week we can hardly leave the farm as the weather is too good.

So how was the trade in Bandon? Well starting with calves: as you might expect numbers are creeping up. Bandon had 320 on offer on Monday, with Tom McCarthy reporting a “flying trade”.

Again quality calves are selling very well with dairy farmers the predominant buyer. With bulk tanks full and deep pockets, they are buying up all before them.

The ever popular Angus calf is starting close to €300 and heading skyward from there. Clearly with all the milk about, sanity is in short supply. And as for the Friesian bull calf, who we were told last year had no future worth a damn, well he’s starting at €100 with €300 being paid for big fellows.

Elsewhere in the mart, demand has certainly picked up for store cattle with good Friesian stores making over €2/kg. A prime example here would be 4 Friesian stores at 350kg who sold for €740.

Dry cows in Bandon sold from €100 to €700 over the kilo. Heifers sold from €500 to €700 with their weight.

Continental bullocks made from €450 to €750. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €350 to €770 with the kilo. While Friesians sold from €300 to €650 with the kilo.



No Breed Sex Weight €

4 Fr steers 610kg 1190

5 AA steers 758kg 1530

2 Hr steers 532kg 11000

2 Ch steers 479kg 1210

1 Sim steer 410kg 860

5 Ch heifers 464kg 1060

1 Fr cow 790kg 1290

And we simply cannot get away from the madness in the calf trade at the moment, with phrases like ‘on fire,’ ‘unreal,’ and ‘something else’ being used to describe the calf trade in Kilmallock on Monday.

And just as an example of the ‘fire’ that is there in the calf ring right now, in Kilmallock a three week old Hereford bull calf sold for €515!

Elsewhere in the mart bullocks hit a high of €2.57/kg. Heifers hit €3.00/kg. While dry cows, Kilmallock mart had 130 on offer, sold for up to €1.78/kg Weanling bulls sold for up to €3.16/kg.

Looking at dairy stock, a three-year-old Friesian, time up January 25, to Aberdeen Angus sold for €1,360, while a two-year-old calved heifer made €1,130.

And in suckling a 3 year old Belgian Blue and her Charolais heifer calf sold for €1440, while a 5 year old Limousin, in-calf to a Limousin bull, sold for €1380.

Next Monday Kilmallock mart will have a clearance sale of 21 dairy and six in-calf heifers. There will also be a large entry of sucklers on Offer. The calf sale will commence at 10.30am.



No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Hr steers 340kg 875

1 Fr steer 390kg 770

2 AA steers 493kg 1100

2 Sim steer 458kg 1030

1 Lm steer 555kg 1245

1 Ch heifer 470kg 1060

6 Hr heifers 444kg 965

Ger Flynn mart manager of Dungarvan mart reported, “a very strong trade for all types of stores,” after Monday’s cattle sale.



No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Lm steers 570kg 1340

3 Hr steers 598kg 1295

1 AA steer 605kg 1330

2 BB heifers 460kg 1040

2 AA heifers 540kg 1135

1 Lm heifer 490kg 1030

1 Fr cow 785kg 1330

This week is an important one for those of us who keep a few sheep or goats.

The deadline for handing in our sheep and goat census is tomorrow Friday, to the best of my knowledge. So if you didn’t get the chance, or forgot to fill it in, might I suggest that once you are finished reading this you go and do the job. Online preferably at this late stage.

And even if you don’t have any sheep or goats at this present moment in time, you are still required to fill in the form. Which is a bit bizarre if you ask me.

Anyway this year I noticed that a postal certificate is no longer an acceptable proof of postage. The Department needs way more proof than a silly old sissy certificate.

So what you have to do now to prove you posted the Sheep and Goat census is anyone’s guess. Perhaps take a selfie of yourself posting the form, or else perhaps get a Justice of the Peace or the local Parish Priest to stand by your side to witness the popping in the post box process.

I think it’s a sad reflection on the relationship between the Department and us farmers that they have so little faith in our honesty.

Does a farmer’s word count for anything anymore?

Anyway moving away from sheep and goats and back to cattle, the word on the cattle trade in Macroom mart on Saturday was very positive as local mart manager John O’Mahony explained.

“We had a large increase on the number of stock we had for sale here Saturday in comparison to previous weeks.

“Once again there was an excellent trade for all types of stock across the board.”



No Breed Sex Weight €

6 AA steers 176kg 590

1 AA steer 645kg 1300

2 Lm steers 280kg 785

2 Lm heifers 450kg 1135

2 BB heifers 240kg 645

1 Fr cow 500kg 900

1 Lm cow 600kg 1130

And just in case you have a bad memory and need a further reminder on the buoyancy that currently exists in the calf trade, here’s Martin Ryan mart manager of Thurles mart.

“Suck calves are crazy and it seems that some dairy farmers are buying them rather than selling them,” said Martin.

And looking at the general sale, Martin added: “Prices are definitely up again for all types of cattle. Forward cattle are strong with an abundance of buyers. All Friesian weanlings averaged over €2/kg.

“Numbers overall on offer were much stronger, and will probably increase again with the prices.”



No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Lm steers 515kg 1150

2 Fr steers 550kg 1050

1 Jersey heifer 335kg 390

1 Sim heifer 340kg 830

1 Ch heifer 245kg 605

2 Lm heifers 422kg 940

1 Fr cow 605kg 920

Tom McCarthy reported “a very good trade for dry cows” in Skibbereen mart on Friday. Dry cows here sold from €100 to €520 over the kilo. Heifers here sold from €500 to €700 with their weight.

Continental bullocks made from €450 to €750. Aberdeen from €450 to €750. Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €400 to €780 with the kilo. While Friesians sold from €350 to €600 with the kilo.



No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Hr steers 620kg 1275

3 AA steers 603kg 1340

3 Hr steers 363kg 885

1 Fr steer 620kg 1110

1 Lm heifer 500kg 1200

4 Ch heifers 411kg 960

1 AA cow 720kg 1240

Finally to Kanturk, where on a very pleasant Tuesday evening Michael Scanlon gave me this report on the action.

“There was a huge sale of cattle here today with an outstanding demand for all stock. Cattle have really taken a jump in price since before Christmas.”

“There were some outstanding cattle on show at today’s sale with forward store cattle making up to €700 over the kilo. Cows were a great trade, making up to €670 over the kilo. A small entry of calves met a flying trade with Friesian bulls making over €200.”



No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Fr steers 525kg 1005

7 AA steers 440kg 940

2 Lm steers 305kg 860

3 Ch steers 420kg 1100

5 Hr heifer 285kg 665

4 BB heifers 325kg 825

1 Lm cow 670kg 1340

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