Mood dampened by heavy rain, low sales and basic payment’s failure to land on time

Call it the Basic Payment Scheme, call it the Single Payment Scheme — call it what you like — but there hasn’t been sight nor sound of the thing on this farm as Wednesday, November 11, dawns.
Mood dampened by heavy rain, low sales and basic payment’s failure to land on time

And while farmers all around might be celebrating and partying till the early hours on the strength of it, here on this farm I’m surviving on emergency rations.

The payment scheme might have a new name, but it has hung onto that great old tradition of leaving some farmers suffering on the side lines.

And what galls me even more, is that I know of some in farming who have received their payment and they are really the kind of farmers who don’t need it at all.

It’s like throwing a lump of money at King Solomon, they are already sitting on a king’s ransom.

I strongly believe that when it comes to the dishing out farm payments the poorest farmers should be attended to first. The fellow gasping for cash should get his share before the Donald Trumps of farming swagger in to get their fill.

And how would you know the poor farmer? Why, that’s easy. We are the ones right now at the marts twiddling our thumbs unable to bid on that light Friesian bullock, that fellow who for the first time this year has come down to a price where he might actually make us some money.

But alas, with nothing but pockets of air, we are unable to make that bold move. Our hands are tied because the Basic Payment isn’t that basic after all.

(To quote Roger Daltrey of The Who, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”)

Anyway we begin this week at Dungarvan mart where a fellow with his Basic Payment in his pocket could have done a nice bit of damage on Monday last. Mart manager Ger Flynn gave us this report. “We had a very big sale, desperate weather conditions are not helping the trade, especially for plainer lots of bullocks.”

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 BB steer 775kg 1560

1 Hr steer 805kg 1455

8 Lm steers 501kg 1075

3 Sim heifers 555kg 1075

1 Lm cow 795kg 1280

1 AA cow 860kg 1410

1 Fr cow 725kg 1155

We move next to Thurles where mart manager Martin Ryan gave us this summary. “Numbers down, prices down, with most finishers near full. Bullocks probably suffered a little more than heifers. The general price trend could be about 5 cent per kilo back.”

Thurles

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Fr steers 366kg 700

2 Lm steers 620kg 1330

7 Hr steers 482kg 980

2 BB steers 482kg 1160

7 Ch steers 501kg 1220

6 Lm heifers 346kg 820

3 Ch heifers 435kg 1060

When I touched down at Corrin mart on Tuesday a shower of rain had just ended. You might remember that shower, it started on Sunday.

We are getting a soaking this week, but in Corrin mart manager Sean Leahy told me that the store trade was bearing up well. “Heavier dry cows are back a bit alright,” Sean admitted “a bit in line with the factory trade.”

And as you might expect, for the time of year, numbers on offer are on the decrease, Corrin had 700 cattle on offer on Tuesday. Store bullocks here made from €200 to €460 over the kilo with beef bullocks making up to €700 with their weight. And again here the trade was livelier for the heavier quality store.

Store heifers in Corrin made from €250 to €480 with their weight, with butcher types making up to €710. Dry cows in Corrin made from €460 to €1,330 a head.

Corrin

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 AA steers 600kg 1135

8 Hr steers 480kg 1045

6 Fr steers 375kg 710

1 Lm heifer 600kg 1310

5 AA heifers 500kg 950

1 Hr heifer 490kg 960

1 Ch cow 826kg 1330

At Bandon Mart on Monday mart manager Tom McCarthy told me that there are a lot more parlour cows coming out at the moment. And in Bandon dry cows sold from €150 under to €600 over their weight. Heifers in Bandon made from €320 to €650 with the kilo.

Friesian bullocks sold from €300 to €500 with the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €380 to €700 with the kilo. Continental bullocks made from €500 up to €720 with the kilo. Bandon mart had 280 calves on offer.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Ch steers 475kg 1190

3 Lm steers 490kg 1130

5 Hr steers 541kg 1110

7 Fr steers 515kg 905

1 Lm heifer 535kg 1150

2 AA heifers 515kg 1040

1 Ch cow 850kg 1440

With 1,787 stock on offer, 314 buyers from as far away as Co Armagh vying for stock, and “a very strong trade”, was the report we got from Denis Kirby from Kilmallock mart.

Bullocks at Kilmallock sold for up to €2.53 per kilo. Heifers sold to a high of €2.44 per kg. Dry cows (Kilmallock had 240 on offer) hit €2.06 per kg. Weanling bulls and heifers sold for up to €3.02 per kg.

And looking at dairy stock, a 4½-year-old calved cow sold for €1,050. A 2½ year old calved heifer made €1,000. Three breeding heifers sold for €700 each.

And here is a view of the suckler trade in Kilmallock, a six-year-old Charolais and her Charolais heifer calf made €2,300. A three-year-old Limousin (time up to Limousin Bull) sold for €1,660. And an 11 year old Limousin and her Aberdeen Angus heifer calf sold for €1,340.

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

4 AA steers 394kg 855

2 Lm steers 353kg 760

3 Fr steers 397kg 745

1 BB steer 535kg 1150

7 Ch steers 451kg 1140

1 Ch heifer 424kg 950

1 Hr heifer 485kg 940

In Skibbereen mart on Friday dry cows sold from é100 under to €705 over their weight. Heifers in Skibbereen made from €300 to €660 with the kilo. Friesian bullocks sold from €270 to €450 with the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €400 to €700 with the kilo. Continental bullocks made from €420 up to €750 with the kilo.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Sim steers 513kg 1260

4 Lm steers 502kg 1200

4 AA steers 355kg 740

6 Fr steers 501kg 890

4 Hr steers 715kg 1280

1 Ch heifer 660kg 1390

1 Lm cow 795kg 1500

In Macroom mart on Saturday last dry cows sold from €75 under to €745 over the kilo. Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bullocks sold from €210 to €600 over the kilo. Continental bullocks made from €235 to €755 over the euro. Heifers sold from €220 to €645 over their weight.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 AA steer 435kg 1035

7 Hr steers 350kg 820

2 Ch steers 475kg 1180

3 Lm steers 405kg 1030

2 AU heifers 515kg 1160

1 SHx heifer 460kg 1070

1 Ch cow 745kg 1490

And finally for this week we go to Kanturk where Seamus O’Keeffe gave us this report.

“We had a big sale today with 730 animals including 200 weanlings. Prices were maintained with a great demand for forward store bullocks and feeding cows. Kanturk mart’s next Weanling Show and Sale will be held on November 17, with the marts annual Fat Stock Show and Sale taking place the following week.

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Hr steer 610kg 1150

1 AA steer 575kg 1125

1 Ch steer 505kg 1095

8 AA steers 519kg 1045

2 Ch heifers 605kg 1190

1 Lm heifer 500kg 1090

1 Ch cow 865kg 1560

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