Cattle marts report: Sunshine gives cattle a very desirable glow, putting an end to price slump at marts

The great St Patrick whose remarkable life we celebrate tomorrow, was a mighty man for looking after sheep.
Cattle marts report: Sunshine gives cattle a very desirable glow, putting an end to price slump at marts

And I believe that he would have been just as good overseeing matters pertaining to livestock.

The man who ridded Ireland of pests and undesirables of every variety would have had no trouble in facing down those tight-fisted meat factory boys who are the bane of our life.

I’m telling you, we’d soon see a long overdue price rise at the factory if we unleashed a fellow with St Patrick’s skill and tenacity. And he wouldn’t need a kings ransom either to do work on our behalf.

A standard wage would suffice. Alas and alack, our business is sadly lacking in such saintly individuals.

Irish farming today has plenty of lost souls roaming the land with very few saints leading the charge.

But like the famous slave himself, we drive on because backing down is never an option. We are beef farmers after all, martyrs to the cause.

And this week in the marts the sudden change in temperature has come as a blessing to all. The fields have come alive and the marts have come alive.

I was in Bandon mart on Monday, with a sale so good I suggested to mart manager Tom McCarthy that he return to the days of the suit and tie.

Tom had 1,980 calves to oversee on Monday and remarked that there was an excellent trade for calves “right to the bitter end.”

And if you were looking for a few calves to keep you busy over the St Patrick’s weekend, nice square Friesian bulls, a month old, were selling between €145 and €155 on Monday.

The Angus ever so slightly outshone the Hereford calf on Monday, with €280 a head being paid for the good standard Augus bull calf.

In the cattle ring, 120 dry cows, many of the fleshy variety, met with a good trade.

In Bandon on Monday dry cows sold from €50 to €700 with the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €350 to €650 with the weight.

Friesian bullocks in Bandon made from €200 to €500 with the kilo. Continental bullocks made from €400 to €800 with the kilo. Heifers here made from €250 to €600 with the kilo.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Hr steers 398kg 780

2 AA steers 530kg 1120

5 Lm steers 553kg 1330

5 AA heifers 322kg 700

1 Sim heifer 580kg 1270

5 AA heifers 496kg 1000

1 Fr cow 765kg 1180

While last week saw a fall in demand for the plainer lighter animal, this week at the marts, with the sunshine, every animal seems to have a desirable glow.

There was a strong demand for all varieties of cattle this week, regardless of sex, size or shape.

The glorious spring weather on Monday also had cattle buyers anxious to purchase stock in Kilmallock.

The Limerick mart had 1781 stock on offer, this number included 1020 calves. Bullocks here sold for up to €2.43 per kg. Weanlings hit €3.17 per kg. Dry cows sold for up to €1.59 per kg.

Heifers went to a high of €2.84 per kg. Dairy stock hit €1460 (paid for a 2 year old calved heifer), while in the sucklers ring €1450 was paid for a 6 year old Limousin and her Limousin bull calf.

And as ever calves at this mart were flying high with a top price of €515 paid for an eight-week-old Simmental bull.

From this Monday, March 20, the weanling sale will commence at 10am. Also next Monday there will be a clearance sale of 20 dairy cows at Kilmallock mart, this sale begins at 11.30am.

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

7 Hr steers 335kg 815

5 Fr steers 364kg 710

6 Hr steers 521kg 1220

3 Lm steers 532kg 1125

2 Lm heifers 458kg 930

1 AA cow 405kg 585

1 Fr cow 480kg 760

We go next to Kanturk mart and to local mart manager Seamus O’Keeffe, who gave us the following report.

“On Tuesday we had one of our biggest cattle sales of the year so far. We had 1710 animals on offer. This number included 1050 calves,” he said.

“Calves were making great money here, with Friesian bulls selling up to €200 a head. Hereford calves made up to €400, while Angus calves sold up to €320 each.”

On a busy day in Kanturk mart on Tuesday, Hereford bullocks made up to €420 with their weight. Aberdeen Angus bullocks were making €350 with their weight, while the Friesian bullocks made up to €500 with the kilo.

A dairy sale will be held in Kanturk mart on Saturday, March 18. This sale begins at 1:00pm.

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 660kg 1370

1 AA steer 570kg 1150

1 Lm heifer 470kg 1060

1 AA heifer 500kg 1020

1 Fr heifer 610kg 1040

1 AA cow 775kg 1150

1 Fr cow 715kg 1060

Skibbereen mart manager Tom McCarthy reported a “good trade” for calves on Friday. Skibbereen mart had 580 calves on offer with continental bulls selling up to €400 a head.

Dry cows here made from €50 to €650 with the kilo. Continental bullocks sold from €400 to €650 with their weight. Friesian bullocks made from €200 to €420 with the weight.

Hereford and Angus bullocks sold from €320 to €610 with the kilo. Weanling bulls made from €320 to €500 with the kilo. Dairy stock made from €1,000 to €1,450.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Lm steers 351kg 1005

1 Ch steer 395kg 1010

4 Hr steers 613kg 1220

2 Fr steers 425kg 740

1 Fr cow 760kg 1210

1 Ch cow 690kg 1340

1 Lm cow 745kg 1270

In Dungarvan mart on Monday mart manger Ger Flynn reported “a good trade for all types of calf and larger animal”. In Dungarvan Herford bull calves sold for up to €355 a head with continental heifer calves making up to €350 a head.

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Lm steers 555kg 1230

4 Fr steers 611kg 1120

4 AA steers 590kg 1165

6 Ch steers 478kg 1155

5 Ch heifers 452kg 990

1 Fr cow 730kg 1060

1 Fr cow 665kg 1000

We go next to Kilkenny and to mart manager George Candler, who gave us a good report after Thursday’s busy cattle sale.

“With a softer day here in Kilkenny last Thursday there were signs that some farmers are getting quite itchy to buy cattle,” said George.

“We had a bigger sale of stock, with a strong demand for quality stores in both the bullock and heifer ring. Quality Friesian bullocks peaked in excess of €2 per kilo. A top call was €1,500 paid for a 480 kilo Limousin bullock.”

Kilkenny

Thursday

No Breed Sex Weight €

10 Fr steers 560kg 1060

2 AA steers 585kg 1230

2 Lm steers 515kg 1250

1 Lm heifer 645kg 1570

1 Ch heifer 520kg 1320

8 Lm heifers 380kg 1020

6 AA heifers 300kg 660

Looking at dry cows in Kilkenny, Friesian cows sold between €1.10 to €1.70 per kilo, while continental dry cows made from €1.30 to €2.00 per kilo. In-calf sucklers sold from €1,200 to €1,550 per head in Kilkenny on Thursday.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

6 Fr steers 590kg 1070

4 AA steers 515kg 1250

3 Ch steers 515kg 1285

1 Lm heifer 585kg 1265

1 Ch heifer 330kg 910

1 Fr cow 690kg 970

1 Ch cow 725kg 1170

And finally for this week we head to Macroom mart and to Saturday’s cattle sale, where dry cows sold from €20 under to €445 over the kilo. Continental bullocks made from €300 to €795 over the kilo. Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bullocks sold from €260 to €735 over their weight. Heifers sold from €240 to €740 over their weight.

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