The man who invented good humour must surely have been from Duhallow.
I’m convinced he was.
He was born somewhere a few miles outside Kanturk, perhaps on the road to Nadd.
I firmly believe this because whenever I go to the mart in Kanturk, it’s always with a joke and a bit of banter that I’m greeted.
Good humour is never far from the surface.
And in a cattle business populated with tough guys of every description, where serious money is at play, this upbeat attitude to business at a cattle mart can be most refreshing.
It’s always business with a smile at Kanturk, and last Tuesday, it was business with over 300 cattle and calves on offer.
Mart manager Seamus O’Keeffe summed up the dry cow trade in one word, “flying”.
The demand for heifers is also still strong at the north Cork mart, with northern buyers anxious for numbers, and the mart putting out a call once again this week for more heifers.
Cattle auctioneer Denis Barrett, spent his first day working the gavel at Kanturk selling bullocks, where demand was strong once again, and where a late entry of bullocks gave buyers an opportunity to secure some smashing Angus and Friesian stock.
Better late than never.
No - Breed - Sex - Weight - €
1 - AA - heifer - 325kg - 640
1 - Hr - heifer - 410kg - 850
1 - AA - heifer - 544kg - 1110
1 - AA - heifer - 385kg - 785
1 - AA - cow - 705kg - 1220
1 - Fr - cow - 840kg - 1210
1 - Fr - cow - 675kg - 1120
I really should be writing this week’s mart report from the comfort of a bar stool someplace, with a fine cool pint up in front of me.
The week is fit for nothing else but to put the feet up and take the job nice and easy.
The marts are quiet, as they traditionally are in July.
We have, of course, started to see a few weanlings appear here and there, but a bit like a beauty pageant before the right beauties appear, there is no point in getting too worked up about things just yet.
The best is yet to come.
Meanwhile, on the land, many have begun harvesting winter cereals or are making silage, and so as a consequence, this week, most are about as interested in my mart report as I am in who won Wimbledon last weekend.
The farm is where the action is right now, the mart is playing second fiddle.
And to top it all, many in the mart game are either on holidays or about to go.
I myself don’t take holidays, for I feel life is holiday enough already.
So with all the shenanigans to keep farmers otherwise occupied, you my friend might well be my one and only reader.
But we will strike on regardless, for to leave the remainder of the page blank now would surely be the height of bad manners.
We will drive on and we will head next to Kilkenny mart and to mart manager, George Candler, who gave us this report following last Thursday’s cattle sale.
“We had a super selling trade for cattle here on Thursday, with lots of buyers especially for forward store beef bullocks and heifers.
“There were a lot of farmer customers due to the presence of surplus grass, and a few Northern Ireland buyers helped to add zip to the trade.
“A slightly smaller sale of stock [Kilkenny had 600 cattle on offer] but, as I said, all met an excellent trade, with a 98% clearance.
“Beef and forward store bullocks and heifers were up €20 to €50 a head, when compared to last week’s sale.”
Looking at dry cows in Kilkenny, Friesian cull cows sold from €1.35 to €1.75 per kilo, with continental cull cows selling from €1.60 to €2.30 per kilo. Looking at the suckler trade, suckler cows with calves at foot sold from €1,100 to €,1620 at Kilkenny mart.
No - Breed - Sex - Weight - €
1 - Lm - steer - 730kg - 1830
3 - Sim - steers - 560kg -1320
4 - Ch - steers - 475kg - 1300
9 - Hr - steers - 430kg - 1020
2 - Sim - heifers - 480kg - 1050
4 - Hr - heifers - 445kg - 890
3 - Lim - heifers - 385kg - 960
A six week old Belgian Blue bull calf that made €615 was the highlight of the cattle sale at Kilmallock mart on Monday.
No - Breed - Sex -Weight - €
1 - Ch - steer - 395kg - 890
1 - Sh - steer - 395kg - 845
2 - Lm - steers - 353kg - 825
3 - AA - steers - 368kg - 780
1 - Hr - heifer - 495kg - 1050
1 - Lm - cow - 440kg - 770
1 - Sh - cow - 475kg - 745
Kilmallock mart had 920 cattle and calves on offer, with Denis Kirby of GVM reporting that, “all types of stock continue to be a fantastic trade.”
Kilmallock mart had 150 buyers made up of farmers and exporters in attendance.
Bullocks here sold for up to €2.37 per kg.
Weanlings hit a high of €2.61 per kg.
Dry cows [Kilmallock had 80 on offer] hit €1560 or €1.91 per kg.
Heifers sold to a high of €2.41 per kg.
Dairy stock made up to €1550 (paid for a three and a half year old calved cow).
In the suckler ring, a fiveyear old Charolais and her Limousin heifer calf made €1820.
In Macroom mart on Saturday, dry cows sold from €100 to €655 over the kilo.
No - Breed - Sex - Weight - €
2 - AA - steers - 705kg - 1420
1 - Ch - steer - 585kg - 1290
3 - Lm - steers - 475kg - 1050
2 - Lm -heifers - 480kg - 1140
3 - Ch - heifers - 400kg - 960
1 - Ch - cow - 860kg - 1470
1 - Ch - cow - 775kg -1440
Hereford and Aberdeen bullocks sold from €260 to €755 over their weight.
Continental bullocks made from €315 to €845 over the kilo. Heifers sold from €260 to €670 over their weight.
Weanling bulls in Macroom sold from €290 to €800, with weanling heifers selling from €250 to €575 over their weight.
And finally for this week, we turn to Thurles mart, and to Martin Ryan for the following report.
“Overall, there was a very strong trade for store cattle here on Monday as well as for more forward cattle.
“The abundance of grass at the moment has farmers clambering to the marts to make use of the surplus, and the good grazing conditions.
“The month of July has seen a considerable increase in numbers in contrast with this time last year [Thurles mart has seen a stock increase of 30%].
“Feedlot activity has finally come to an end, but farmer demand has been strong for the last few weeks.
“There is a strong trade for the reared calf right now, with a considerable number available. We saw a total clearance here on Monday of 94%”.
No -Breed - Sex -Weight - €
3 - Sim - steers - 495kg - 1130
2 - Fr - steers - 592kg - 1150
6 - Hr - steers - 328kg - 860
3 - Fr - steers - 393kg - 840
6 - AA - steers - 385kg - 820
3 - Ch - heifers - 445kg - 1000
10 -AA - heifers - 415kg - 950