Calves steal spotlight, but Donald might say they’re as overrated as Meryl Streep

It’s not every day that I agree with Donald Trump.
Calves steal spotlight, but Donald might say they’re as overrated as Meryl Streep

Indeed I disagree with him most days, in almost everything he says or does.

However, earlier this week, I had to back the fellow when he suggested that Meryl Streep was an overrated actress. For the first time, the man was talking sense.

I mean: what films of hers would you want to see, if you were given the choice?

Exactly. None of them.

They all suck!

She’s about as appealing on screen as Donald Trump’s hair is on a windy day.

She’s no Kate Winslet, and that’s for sure. I’d watch Kate until the cows come home.

Indeed with Kate Winslet on screen, I don’t think I’d be too bothered about where the cows were. Meryl is overrated, Trump was on the money.

And staying on the subject of overrated and money, I wonder if the calf right now is overrated?

I was in Bandon mart on Monday to witness the mart’s first calf sale of the year. And I was simply blown away by the prices.

Calf buyers were out in force, with Friesian bull calves, suitable for the bucket of milk replacer back home, making €180 a head.

That’s a lot of money for such a needy character. Stronger fellows were hovering above the €200 mark.

Angus bulls and heifers were selling from €200 a head upwards.

Herefords, I felt, led the charge on Monday.

Standard Hereford calves about one month old were passing the €300 mark with ease.

Bandon mart had 350 calves on offer on Monday, with no good news to report for the hard pressed calf buyer. Our struggle continues.

The dairy farmer who was not swayed by the Jersey, but stuck with the Friesian cow, is certainly being rewarded in the calf ring, and indeed in the dry cow ring too, things look promising.

In Bandon on Monday, I spotted some nice fleshy Friesian dry cows, weighing about the 700 kilos and selling for over €1,000 a piece.

And looking at the lighter cow, a bunch of three young store cows, weighing 588kg, made €710.

Bandon mart on Monday had 80 dry cows on offer, dry cows here sold from €100 under to €300 with the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €270 to €485 with the kilo.

Friesian bullocks sold from €200 to €400 with the kilo. Heifers in Bandon made from €290 to €480 with the kilo.



No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Fr steers 698kg 1080

1 AA steer 665kg 1150

1 AA heifer 425kg 845

1 Lm heifer 380kg 790

1 Hr heifer 590kg 1070

1 Fr cow 765kg 1060

1 Hr cow 625kg 1040

And in Kilmallock mart on Monday, the Friesian bull calf was also soaring like an eagle. Two-week-old Friesian bull calves here were selling for up to €190 a head.

Stronger beef breed calves sold for up to €520 a head.

In total, the mart had 337 stock on offer for the first sale of 2017, with Denis Kirby of Kilmallock reporting that the trade was “very strong, with 100 buyers attending keen to snap up stock.”

Bullocks in Kilmallock on Monday sold for up to €930 a head, with a top price per kg of €2.31 being paid.

Dry cows hit a high of €1.58 per kg. Heifers made up to €2.08 per kg. Weanling bulls hit €2.38 per kg. A six-year-old dairy cow sold for €1,160.

In the suckler ring, an eight-year-old Jersey cow, and her Charolais heifer calf, made an impressive €1,350.



No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Hr steers 271kg 625

2 Lm steers 495kg 925

1 Sim steer 495kg 920

3 Hr steers 434kg 900

1 Ch cow 445kg 700

1 AA cow 615kg 825

1 Fr cow 575kg 915

In Macroom on Saturday last dry cows sold from €100 under to €275 over the kilo. Bullocks made from €220 to €550 over the kilo.

Heifers sold from €225 to €435 over their weight.



No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Lm steers 565kg 1115

3 Hr steers 470kg 860

1 Ch steer 310kg 755

1 Sim heifer 435kg 850

1 Ch heifer 330kg 715

1 Fr cow 710kg 940

1 Fr cow 665kg 930

I opened a bale of silage the other morning and it was so good, I was half inclined to nibble on it myself. If there is one consolation to be found after a hard year on the land, it’s the fact that our silage this winter is only mighty.

Last summer, while perhaps not the most idyllic for making hay or indeed making money, was perfect for silage.

It would have been a hard feat to make bad silage in 2016.

Although some probably managed to do it, nevertheless, while there might be plenty of issues to upset us within the beef industry, at least we won’t find them within our silage.

Mart manager Ger Flynn wasn’t finding too many faults with the trade in Dungarvan mart on Monday. He gave us this report.

“There was a good start to the year here in Dungarvan mart on Monday. We had a steady trade for all types of stores. Forward dry cows and quality continental heifers sold very well.”



No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Ch steers 496kg 975

2 Fr steers 442kg 670

2 AA steers 177kg 405

3 AA heifers 390kg 730

3 Hr heifers 520kg 985

1 Lm cow 690kg 1190

1 Fr cow 715kg 960

“We had a good lively trade for bullocks here today, with a steady trade for heifers and dry cows,” was the summing up given to us by Corrin mart manager, Sean Leahy, after Tuesday’s cattle sale.



No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Hr steers 274kg 670

1 Sim steer 685kg 1240

4 Fr steers 430kg 740

1 Lm heifer 445kg 1000

1 Hr heifer 485kg 1025

1 Fr cow 820kg 1210

1 Hr cow 915kg 1340

In Corrin on Tuesday, store bullocks made from €150 to €400 over the kilo with beef bullocks making up to €580 with the kilo. Heifers in Corrin sold from €200 to €385 over the kilo, with butcher types making up to €540 with the kilo. Dry cows here sold from €520 to €1,360 a head. Corrin mart had 300 cattle and calves on offer on Tuesday.



No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 530kg 980

1 Shx steer 520kg 945

4 Lm steers 290kg 770

1 Hr steer 380kg 735

1 Fr heifer 520kg 780

1 Fr cow 800kg 1060

1 Fr cow 760kg 1020

Next we turn to Kanturk mart where mart manager Seamus O’Keeffe gave us the following report: “We had a great opening sale to 2017 with a complete clearance of 200 animals which included 90 cows, 50 in-calf heifers and 60 weanlings.

“Looking at dairy stock here on Tuesday, young cows, February to March calvers, were making €1200 to €1400 each,” Seamus added. “Late calvers made €800 to €1,100. Weanling heifers sold from €550 to €650 a head.”



No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Hr steers 561kg 985

1 Lm steer 390kg 770

1 AA heifer 375kg 700

2 Hr heifers 517kg 920

1 Ch heifer 320kg 685

1 Lm cow 685kg 940

1 Fr cow 510kg 800

In Skibbereen on Friday, dry cows sold from €100 under to €300 with the kilo. Heifers in Skibbereen made from €300 to €425 with the kilo.

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