Cattle marts report: Cattle numbers hold solid, prices are steady and bargain calves are as rare as hen’s teeth

Ever the optimist, I went to Dungarvan mart on Monday in search of a few cheap calves. But alas for me, I arrived too late.
Cattle marts report: Cattle numbers hold solid, prices are steady and bargain calves are as rare as hen’s teeth

The sale for calves was all but over when I touched down at the Waterford mart. So sadly no bargain calf did I buy. And even if I had arrived on time, I fear I would never have had the opportunity to raise my hand in the fight for that cheap calf.

“Calves were stone mad here today,” was the response I got when I asked a farmer leaving the calf ring how the morning had gone. So my search for those elusive bargain calves continues.

Elsewhere in Dungarvan on Monday cattle numbers were certainly on the increase. There was a nice buzz around the place.

After the sale I spoke to mart manager, Ger Flynn. “Overall cattle numbers are increasing, prices are holding steady for all types. We had a very good dry cow trade here today,” he said.

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Fr steers 782kg 1580

2 Hr steers 662kg 1450

8 Lm heifers 425kg 1005

2 Lm heifers 426kg 1010

1 AA heifer 515kg 1060

4 Fr cows 753kg 1385

1 Fr cow 760kg 1350

Moving next to Macroom mart, where on Saturday last, dry cows sold from €165 to €620 over the kilo. Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bullocks made from €230 to €725 over the kilo. Continental bullocks sold from €240 to €880 over the kilo. While heifers sold from €275 to €900 with the kilo.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

4 Lm steers 640kg 1520

1 Sim steer 530kg 1330

3 AA steers 635kg 1340

5 Hr steers 400kg 930

2 Lm heifers 460kg 1230

2 Ch heifers 405kg 1150

1 Sim cow 650kg 1270

“Very strong prices are bringing out large numbers of cattle,” was the upbeat summing up I got from Denis Kirby of Kilmallock mart after Monday’s cattle sale. “Week by week sellers are getting more than they had expected for their stock.” Kilmallock mart had 1,087 stock on offer last Monday.

Bullocks in Kilmallock made up to €2.88 per kg. With autumn born weanlings, both bulls and heifers, making close to €3 per kg.

Dry cows here made up to €2.14 per kg. Looking at dairy stock, a four-year-old calved cow sold for €1,350 in Kilmallock on Monday while a six-year-old in-calf cow, springing to a Hereford, made €1,300.

Looking at the suckling trade, a seven-year-old Aberdeen Angus and her Charolais heifer calf sold for €1,450, while a four-year-old Hereford and her Limousin bull calf made €1,370.

A Weanling Show and Sale will take place at Kilmallock mart on Monday, August 10.

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Hr steer 365kg 820

3 AA steers 380kg 915

2 Fr steers 360kg 755

2 BB steers 503kg 1210

3 Sim heifers 463kg 1200

3 Hr heifers 497kg 1155

1 Fr cow 485kg 880

Bandon mart on Monday had 258 calves on offer, with precious few bargains to be had here also. The trade for calves in Bandon, even as we approach August, remains as strong as it has all year.

And while many in the dairy business might be voicing concerns at falling milk prices, I find it very hard to shed an old tear for the poor dairy farmer as I sit in the calf ring week after week and hear an auctioneer rattle off numbers that make my head spin. Dairy farmers selling calves this year have made a packet. So it certainly hasn’t been all bad news on the dairy farms of Ireland.

There was a strong dry cow trade in Bandon on Monday, with dry cows making from €250 to €850 with the kilo. Continental bullocks in Bandon sold from €500 up to €1,050 with the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €400 to €850 with the kilo. Friesian bullocks at Bandon mart sold from €250 to €600 with the kilo. Heifers on Monday sold from €400 to €900 with their weight.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 680kg 1700

2 Ch steers 490kg 1320

2 AA steers 507kg 1200

4 Fr steers 458kg 920

1 Lm heifer 655kg 1470

3 AA heifers 543kg 1210

1 Lm cow 675kg 1500

Martin Ryan, mart manager of Thurles mart, had this report for us after Monday’s cattle sale: “We are getting great numbers and a roaring trade for all stock.

“Certainly there is no easing in the trade with a lot of exceptional prices being paid. It is hard to see how the finished animal would recover the price in the factory.”

Thurles

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Fr steers 515kg 1040

3 BB steers 600kg 1470

3 Hr steers 423kg 1080

2 Lm steers 450kg 1060

1 AA steer 435kg 1090

3 Lm heifers 343kg 880

8 Hr heifers 350kg 860

There was a larger sale of cattle in Skibbereen mart on Friday with mart manager Tom McCarthy reporting a very good trade for continental bullocks.

And here they made up to €1,000 with the kilo. Friesian bullocks in Skibbereen sold from €400 to €900 with the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €400 to €900 with the kilo. Dry cows in Skibbereen made from €200 to €750 with the kilo. Heifers on Friday sold from €430 to €800 with their weight.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 795kg 1800

1 Ch steer 455kg 1320

2 Fr steers 755kg 1610

10 Hr steers 539kg 1220

1 Ch heifer 485kg 1190

2 Hr heifers 577kg 1310

1 Ch cow 720kg 1450

We go next to Kilkenny mart where after last Thursday’s cattle sale mart manager, George Candler, gave us this report. “Our cattle sale here on Thursday was much bigger than the equivalent sale in 2014. The trade remains very firm with customers still anxious for numbers. We had an excellent trade for heavy bullocks, heifers and cull cows.”

Looking at cull cows on sale in Kilkenny, Friesian cull cows on Thursday made from €1.35/kg to €2.05/kg. With Continental cull cows making from €1.70/kg to €2.36/kg.

Kilkenny

Thursday

No Breed Sex Weight €

8 Lm steers 710kg 1780

3 Fr steers 365kg 780

5 Ch steers 415kg 1030

3 AA steers 430kg 1140

2 BB heifers 395kg 1080

5 Hr heifers 370kg 845

5 AA heifers 325kg 770

And finally for this week we go across to Kanturk, where after Tuesday’s cattle sale, local mart manager Seamus O’Keeffe gave us this following summing up: “We had a big sale for the time of the year with exceptional prices for all cattle.”

Kanturk mart in Cork is due to host a show and sale for autumn born weanlings on next Tuesday, July 28.

Categories for autumn born weanlings due to be on sale at the show will include the following: Limousin, Charolais, Belgian Blue, Simmental, mixed class.

There will also be a prize for the best pen of weanlings.

The fun begins in Kanturk at 11.00am with approximately €2,500 in prize money in the pot.

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Fr steers 642kg 1390

3 AA steers 615kg 1355

5 Hr steers 615kg 1250

1 Ch steer 395kg 1180

1 Ch heifer 660kg 1430

1 Hr heifer 460kg 980

1 Hr cow 690kg 1290

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