Cattle buyers keen for stock on offer as some traders opt to make hay while sun shines

I met up with an Aghabullogue farmer by the name of John at a funeral recently, and he — with great reverence — told me that he heeds my every word on this page regarding cattle market trends and predictions.

I met up with an Aghabullogue farmer by the name of John at a funeral recently, and he — with great reverence — told me that he heeds my every word on this page regarding cattle market trends and predictions.

“I take all you say on board Denny, and I farm accordingly,” he explained. “And how are you doing with the cattle?” I asked, as proud as can be. “I haven’t made a penny in years!” was his bold response.

So no danger then of the head swelling beyond certain limits. Trust a cattleman to bring me down to earth. And speaking of cattlemen, we will head first to Macroom mart and last Saturday’s cattle sale.

A mart where, once upon a time, a school-going Minister for Agriculture sold cattle, ably assisted by the auctioneering maestro himself, Jack McGrath.

In Macroom on Saturday dry cows sold from €100 to €415 over the kilo. Bullocks made from €250 to €700 over the kilo.

Heifers sold from €240 to €765 over their weight. Heifers in Macroom mart sold from €250 to €750 over their weight on Saturday.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

6 Hr steers 405kg 915

2 Lm steers 395kg 1060

1 BB steer 340kg 1000

1 Lm heifer 595kg 1360

2 Ch heifers 540kg 1280

2 Ch heifers 340kg 930

1 Fr cow 685kg 1040

With temperatures soaring in Kilmallock on Monday, there were just 600 cattle on offer at the Limerick venue. Denis Kirby of GVM reported, “As vendors concentrated on hay, silage making and perhaps even a trip to the beach, the law of supply and demand was in evidence, with buyers very keen for the stock on offer.”

Bullocks in Kilmallock sold for up to €2.11 per kg. Weanlings hit €2.80 per kg. Dry cows sold for up to €2.00 per kg (Aberdeen Angus cow 430kgs €860).

Looking at dairy stock, a five-year-old calved cow sold for €1,650. In the suckler ring, a three-year-old Charolais and her Limousin heifer calf made €1,570. Looking at breeding bulls, a Hereford bull made €1,900, while an Aberdeen Angus sold for €1,850.

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 AA steers 265kg 620

2 Sim steers 465kg 930

2 Lm heifers 468kg 980

1 Lm heifer 380kg 980

1 AA heifer 405kg 950

1 Fr cow 445kg 785

1 Lm cow 560kg 1020

The trade in Bandon mart on Monday was “sizzling” according to mart manager, Tom McCarthy. It was a cattle sale just like the weather.

And on a week when livestock were baking in the fields and putting on condition through sunshine alone, it was no surprise that demand was good.

A beaming Tom said, “Cattle are up €50 a head on last week.” So a good day to be a seller and a good day to be a mart manager.

On Monday dry cows sold from €90 to €500 with the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks made from €440 to €750 with the weight. Continental bullocks sold from €450 to €850 with the kilo. Friesian bullocks in Bandon made from €250 to €570 with the kilo. Heifers in Bandon sold from €360 to €750 with their weight.

Bandon mart on Monday had 500 calves on offer with Tom reporting, “a very strong trade” in the calf ring also.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 AA steers 427kg 1125

2 Lm steers 440kg 1250

2 Ch steers 465kg 1130

4 Sim steers 456kg 1110

3 Fr steers 393kg 805

4 Lm heifers 377kg 860

1 Fr cow 645kg 1140

In Dungarvan on Monday Friesian bull calves sold from €100 to €160, with €260 a head for weaned Friesian bulls. Hereford bull calves made from €200 to €355 a piece.

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Ch steers 642kg 1430

5 AA steers 674kg 1325

2 Ch steers 542kg 1220

3 Ch heifer 616kg 1385

2 Ch heifers 515kg 1170

1 Lm cow 805kg 1350

1 Fr cow 880kg 1060

Thurles

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

7 Sim steers 528kg 1160

6 Fr steers 560kg 1040

5 Lm steers 492kg 1310

6 Hr steers 446kg 1050

2 AA steers 297kg 650

7 AA heifers 353kg 810

1 Fr cow 675kg 1030

Next we move to Thurles and to mart manager, Martin Ryan, who gave us this report.

“Monday’s sale was much smaller than previous weeks. I believe good weather conditions kept a lot of farmers at home with silage and so on. We had a number of sellers phoning the mart on Monday morning to cancel their lots booked in for the day. Prices for quality animals were up on last week,” he added. “How and ever, poor, light Friesian bullocks were a tougher trade, with prices varying from €1.30 to €1.90 per kg.

“Cull cow and calf numbers have fallen away, but numbers of each are up on this time last year. The cull cow trade has recovered somewhat after processors dropped prices in the previous week.”

Corrin

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Ch steer 725kg 1430

4 Lm steers 457kg 1110

10 Fr steers 414kg 740

2 Lm heifers 370kg 875

3 Sim heifers 498kg 1055

2 Hr heifers 290kg 660

1 Fr cow 760kg 1420

Corrin on Tuesday had 500 cattle on offer, with mart manager Sean Leahy reporting “a very lively trade for bullocks,” with “a steady trade for dry cows and heifers.” In Corrin on Tuesday bullocks sold from €150 to €600 with their weight, with beef bullocks making up to €790 with the kilo. Store heifers sold from €230 to €530 with the weight with butcher types making up to €765. In Corrin dry cows sold from €520 to €1,420 a head.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Hr steers 368kg 875

2 Lm steers 332kg 820

1 Lm heifer 525kg 1270

4 Ch heifers 471kg 1180

1 Sim cow 730kg 1330

1 Lm cow 670kg 1200

1 Fr cow 770kg 1230

In Skibbereen on Friday dry cows sold from €30 under to €600 with the kilo.

Bullocks sold from €300 to €650 with the kilo. Heifers made from €250 to €750. Weanling bulls sold from €400 to €700 with their weight.

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Fr steer 586kg 1045

1 AA steer 413kg 870

1 AA heifer 580kg 1085

1 Hr heifer 436kg 950

1 Fr cow 635kg 1000

1 Fr cow 615kg 830

1 Fr cow 630kg 910

And finally for this week we go to Kanturk mart and to mart manager, Seamus O’Keeffe. “We had a smaller mart due to the beautiful weather, with 411 cattle coming though the ring. Prices on Tuesday were up on last week with farmers looking for cattle because of extra grass,” Seamus concluded.

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