Cattle marts: Demand for cattle with overcoats as farmers brave rainfall to attend busy marts

On our farms right now many cattle are spending a good deal of their day backed up against a sheltered ditch.

Cattle marts: Demand for cattle with overcoats as farmers brave rainfall to attend busy marts

Our weather is up and it’s down, cold showers are raining down one minute, and the sun is shining the next.

Cattle tasting freedom after a winter of confinement are far from thriving in such an environment.

However there is one breed of beast who is simply shaking off the rain, like water off a duck’s back. And this creature is the animal who has been out-wintered.

Though they might be few in number, they haven’t gone away, you know.

And the harsh spring is having no effect on them. After a winter of record breaking rainfall, they have experienced worse.

When an auctioneer announces that a bullock he is to sell has been out-wintered, what he really means is that the bullock comes equipped with an overcoat. And this spring, the bullock with the overcoat has never been in more demand.

I would say looking at cattle in Corrin on Tuesday that the outlier, particularly the Hereford or Angus, is making €40 euro a head more than the inexperienced and naïve fellow trotting straight from a house. The outlier has a head start, he’s the animal with the turbo. He’s looking at the perished grass and licking his lips.

Corrin mart on Tuesday had 1,500 cattle and calves on offer with mart manager, Sean Leahy, telling me there was “a much improved trade for all stock.” In Corrin, forward store bullocks sold from €400 to €670 over the kilo, with beef bullocks making up to €865 over the kilo.

Store heifers in Corrin made from €250 to €460 over the kilo, with butcher types making up to €785 over the kilo.

On Tuesday, dry cows made from €500 up to €1,090 a head.

Corrin

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 490kg 1060

1 Sim heifer 495kg 1280

2 Lm heifers 340kg 925

3 Ch heifers 370kg 920

1 BB heifer 690kg 1385

3 Hr heifers 280kg 705

1 Fr cow 780kg 1090

And while I was in Corrin mart on Tuesday, I met my former sparring partner in the mart and market reporting game, and now IFA presidential candidate, Joe Healy.

Joe was in Corrin hoping to drum up support for his presidential campaign and in fairness, he’s a man right at home in a mart and works well when talking one-to-one with the farmer. I asked him what issues were the cattlemen highlighting, “Income and the tight margin that they have to work within,” Joe said. “Also farm inspections are a big issue, with many feeling that it’s a case of guilty until proven innocent.”

“They are looking for a strong IFA and a powerful organisation that can fight on their behalf.”

Joe added that he had just come from Kanturk mart where he had seen a calf making €820. Well, I had to smile. Once a mart reporter, always a mart reporter.

And with that we will move to Kanturk and we will deal first with Joe’s calf. The sizeable sum was paid for a six-week-old Limousin heifer.

Kanturk mart manager, Seamus O’Keeffe, told me later in the day that there was a strong demand for calves in Kanturk on Tuesday.

“We had 1,220 animals, with 740 calves on offer. The weather of course had an impact on the sale as farmers are waiting to buy cattle when the weather finally improves.”

And looking back to last Saturday’s dairy sale in Kanturk, Seamus added: “Last Saturday we had a top class sale of 60 Friesian dairy cows for Mr Michael Doherty of Strand, Newcastlewest with average prices reached of €1,390 and one six year old calved Friesian cow making €2,020.”

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 BB steer 725kg 1400

4 Hr steers 390kg 940

7 Fr steers 576kg 970

1 Lm heifer 480kg 1030

2 Hr heifers 555kg 1015

1 Lm cow 715kg 1300

1 Fr cow 765kg 1140

There was “good farmer demand” for calves in Bandon on Monday, mart manager, Tom McCarthy reported.

In total, the mart had 1,482 calves on offer.

Dry cows in Bandon made from €50 to €470 with the kilo.

Continental bullocks on Monday in Bandon mart sold from €450 to €720 with their weight.

Friesian bullocks sold from €200 to €540 with their weight.

Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €350 to €625 with the kilo.

Heifers in Bandon made from €310 to €600 with the kilo.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

7 Lm steers 517kg 1180

3 AA steers 506kg 1130

5 Hr steers 354kg 905

4 Fr steers 596kg 1070

2 Lm heifers 492kg 1085

3 AA heifers 350kg 750

1 Lm cow 675kg 1100

And in spite of the many cold hail showers that were dropped upon us from the heavens over the early part of the week, the trade for cattle in Kilmallock mart suffered little as a consequence.

The market for all stock was described as “being on fire” by Denis Kirby.

Kilmallock, the daddy of all the marts, had 2,285 cattle and calves on offer on Monday last, with 387 buyers doing business at its five rings. Heavy bullocks made up to €2.52 per kg.

While weanlings hit €2.89 per kg. Dry cows went to a high of €1.87 per kg.

Heifers sold for up to €2.82 per kg. Dairy stock hit €1420 (paid for a two-year-old calved heifer) while suckler cows went to a high of €1,760 (which was paid for a four-year-old Montbeliarde cow along with her Limousin bull calf).

Kilmallock had some 400 calves on offer with mart manager Denis Kirby reporting “a good demand for calves”.

On this Saturday, April 2, a premier sale of pedigree Angus cattle takes place at Kilmallock mart.

This sale begins at 1 pm, and will have 43 bulls and 4 heifers on offer.

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Hr steers 393kg 855

2 Lm steers 523kg 1320

3 AA steers 528kg 1100

1 Lm heifer 410kg 1070

1 BB heifer 470kg 1030

2 Hr heifers 453kg 950

1 Lm cow 455kg 755

Oh, how deeply I suffered on Friday last.

Good Friday — a most holy day of penance, suffering and abstinence. Or more specifically, a day when meat was off the menu. In my humble opinion, a day without meat is a day hardly worth living.

But in spite of such deeply intolerable suffering, it was business as usual in Skibbereen mart. The steak may have been off the menu, but it was still available on the hoof at the mart.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Ch steer 600kg 1395

1 Lm steer 520kg 1250

5 Ch steers 350kg 945

2 Lm heifers 420kg 1010

1 Ch heifer 465kg 1030

5 Fr cows 700kg 1030

1 Ch cow 895kg 1640

And in Skibbereen on Friday, dry cows sold from €40 under to €745 with the kilo. Continental bullocks made from €255 to €795 with their weight.

Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €230 to €690 with the kilo.

While Friesian bullocks sold from €185 to €400 with their weight.

Heifers that featured in Skibbereen mart made from €240 to €590 with the kilo.

“We had a big sale here once again with similar numbers to last week, which was met with a good trade across the board for all types of stock,” was the report that we received from Macroom mart manager, John O’Mahony, after Saturday’s cattle sale.

Dry cows in Macroom on Saturday sold from €90 under to €615 over the kilo.

Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bullocks sold from €230 to €745 over the kilo.

With continental bullocks selling from €240 to €755 over their weight. Heifers in Macroom mart on Saturday sold from €225 to €835 over the kilo.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Hr steer 565kg 1310

7 AA steers 540kg 1180

5 Ch steer 615kg 1370

1 Lm steer 475kg 1200

4 Lm heifer 400kg 1000

1 AU cow 805kg 1420

1 Hr cow 570kg 1120

And finally for this week, it’s to Dungarvan cattle mart we go where on Monday last suckler cows with calves at foot sold from €1,100 to €1,360.

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

9 AA steers 662kg 1345

4 Lm steers 623kg 1310

4 Hr heifers 471kg 950

3 Ch heifers 379kg 935

1 BB heifer 635kg 1265

1 Fr cow 745kg 1100

1 Ch cow 715kg 1230

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