Cattle marts report: Store cattle drop by €60 per head at marts, as the three Fs have beef farmers floored

Store cattle — and bullocks in particular — have suffered a €60 per head price drop over the past two weeks.

Cattle marts report: Store cattle drop by €60 per head at marts, as the three Fs have beef farmers floored

Store cattle — and bullocks in particular — have suffered a €60 per head price drop over the past two weeks.

This fall, according to the word on the street, or the word from the floor of the mart, is due to grass buyers having fallen away, and grass growth slow to get going.

So as we head into the summer proper, those with grass and money to spare are calling the shots at the mart. They are the ones who are securing the bargains.

We head first to Skibbereen mart where on Friday dairy stock sold from €1,000 to €1,300 a head. Dry cows sold from €45 to €685 with the kilo.

In Skibbereen, Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €300 to €645 with the weight. Continental bullocks sold from €445 to €725 with the kilo.

Friesian bullocks in Skibbereen sold from €180 to €485 with the kilo. Heifers here sold from €265 to €615 with their weight. In Skibbereen weanling bulls made from €265 to €550 with the kilo.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

4 Lm steers 505kg 1230

2 Ch steers 377kg 980

2 AA steers 460kg 960

1 Ch heifer 455kg 980

1 Lm heifer 490kg 1100

1 Lm cow 675kg 1360

1 Hr cow 770kg 1270

This past week saw Taoiseach Enda Kenny getting all emotional over his announcement to retire on an annual pension of €126,000 and a lump sum payment of €378,000.

While I too would dearly love to cry for Enda’s sake, I simply can’t muster the tears.

I have always found it hard to get emotional over the woes of the wealthy.

Enda shouldn’t be getting too emotional about himself either. He really has no reason for tears. Instead he should be on bended knee, thanking the man above for guiding him along a road that has led to such a pot of gold.

It’s laughing Enda should be.

If you want to cry for anyone, cry for the calf-to-beef farmer. Now, here is a poor fellow most definitely on a pathway paved with good intentions.

An enterprise heralded by many back in the day as a sure fire hit, the calf-to-beef business has turned out to be a loss making exercise, with precious little reward.

I sold Friesians last past week, purchased as calves, and got a roasting at the mart for my trouble. €200 with the kilo, at best. It does not bring a fellow to a happy place, it brings a fellow to his senses.

The beef farmer at present is like the wedding dress of Pippa Middleton. We are being trodden on from all quarters.

The three Fs

Fertiliser, feed and the factory: three Fs have us floored.

So let’s have no more tears for Enda, not while the beef farmer is fighting for survival.

And with that we head to Bandon mart where on Monday a lively dry cow sale, particularly for fleshy lots, saw cows selling from €50 under to €850 with the kilo.

Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks made from €350 to €650 with the weight.

Continental bullocks sold from €450 to €750 with the kilo. Friesian bullocks in Bandon made from €200 to €520 with the kilo.

Heifers in Bandon sold from €600 to €650 with their weight.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

7 Sim steers 410kg 880

6 Hr steers 335kg 760

6 Fr steers 437kg 780

3 AA heifers 530kg 1090

6 Hr heifers 503kg 1040

1 Sa cow 885kg 1740

1 Fr cow 770kg 1250

Kilmallock mart on Monday had 1,200 stock on offer.

Denis Kirby of GVM said: “Prices continue to be very strong.”

Bullocks in Kilmallock made up to €2.82 per kg. Dry cows hit €2.14 per kg. Heifers sold for up to €2.44 per kg. Dairy stock went to a high of €1,300 (for a three-year-old calved cow).

In the suckler ring a four-year-old Aberdeen Angus and her Aberdeen Angus bull calf sold for €1,180.

Next Monday, May 29, Kilmallock mart will host two dairy cow clearance sales. One comprises of ten dairy cows and the other comprises of 25 cows. All cows have calved.

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 BB steer 360kg 840

1 Fr steer 270kg 645

4 AA steers 539kg 1160

1 Sim heifer 490kg 1100

2 AA heifers 475kg 1090

2 Fr cows 448kg 830

1 AA cow 460kg 850

Kanturk mart on Tuesday had a total of 787 cattle and calves on offer. Hereford bull calves here made up to €410 a head, with Aberdeen Angus calves selling for up to €350 a head.

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 AA steers 690kg 1420

2 Hr steers 477kg 900

1 Hr heifer 505kg 1040

1 AA heifer 420kg 900

1 Lm cow 770kg 1380

1 Ch cow 715kg 1480

1 Fr cow 700kg 1100

Next we go to Thurles mart where mart manager, Martin Ryan, gave us this report after Monday’s cattle sale.

“Monday’s sale saw a strong demand for most types of cattle. The farmer still remains on top for the more forward store animals, both bullocks and heifers.

“Cull cows are still a strong trade with numbers beginning to dwindle after a busy spring for cull cows. Calves are easing in both numbers and prices with a lot of the larger calf rearing units finished buying at this stage.”

Thurles

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Fr steers 528kg 1040

4 Hr steers 340kg 880

2 Sim steers 405kg 1015

7 AA steers 315kg 740

6 Lm heifers 428kg 635

1 AA cow 505kg 1030

1 Fr cow 615kg 1040

Corrin had 900 stock on Tuesday. Mart manager Sean Leahy reported “a strong trade for bullocks, especially for quality lots, an excellent trade for heifers and strong trade also for dry cows.”

In Corrin, bullocks sold from €150 to €620 with their weight, with beef bullocks making up to €600 with the kilo. Store heifers sold from €180 to €565 with the weight, with butcher types making up to €900 with the kilo.

Corrin

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Hr steers 660kg 1245

4 AA steers 448kg 985

4 Lm steers 370kg 990

2 AA heifers 540kg 1180

2 Hr heifers 490kg 1220

1 Ch cow 730kg 1330

1 Fr cow 825kg 1320

In Dungarvan, Friesian bull calves sold from €70 to €130 a head. Hereford bull calves made up to €250 a piece. With up to €380 a head being paid for Aberdeen Angus bulls.

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Lm steers 440kg 1020

7 AA steers 562kg 1100

2 AA steers 535kg 1120

3 Hr heifers 520kg 1055

1 AA heifer 515kg 1100

1 Fr cow 785kg 1180

1 AA cow 770kg 1270

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