Denis Lehane: Out here in the country, 19 is considered old for a provisional licence

ICOS marts executive Ray Doyle has called on Mr Cowen to consider as a matter of urgency a dedicated grant aid package for livestock marts, after Covid-19 mart closures “threatened the viability of marts across the country”.
Denis Lehane: Out here in the country, 19 is considered old for a provisional licence
At Macroom Mart last Saturday, six Aberdeen Angus heifers, born March 2019, which weighed 284kg, sold for €525.

While our new Minister for Agriculture, Barry Cowen, may have hit the ground running, you can’t say the same about his driving.

While failing the breathalyser test is never a good thing, having a provisional licence at 49 is most bizarre.

Out here in the country, to have a provisional licence at 19 would be considered old, never mind 49!

Let's just hope he can steer the farming ship with a little more care.

Speaking of care, ICOS marts executive Ray Doyle has called on Mr Cowen to consider as a matter of urgency a dedicated grant aid package for livestock marts, after Covid-19 mart closures “threatened the viability of marts across the country”.

“Livestock marts were one of the only agri-related businesses to have their businesses closed by government during the Covid 19 restrictions during the busiest time of the year for all marts,” Mr Doyle said.

Yes, at one stage we had farmers’ markets open to the public, while cattle marts remained closed to farmers. I’d like to know who made that call.

As for government compensation now in the form of a financial package for marts, I’d say there’s about as much chance of that as blood from a turnip.

The marts should never have closed in the first place. That’s the fly in this particular ointment.

The horse should never have bolted, and running after him now to try and put a saddle on his back is an exercise in futility.

Onto to those marts struggling to find their feet again, and our weekly catalogue of mart reports.

We begin with Kilmallock Mart, where there was good news on Monday, at least for sellers.

Denis Kirby of Kilmallock Mart reported, “Happy sellers are cashing in here at Kilmallock Mart.

“This week we saw 695 cattle and calves sold. Again, there was strong online bidding at all three sales.

“The trade is very strong for all types of stock. It is a sellers’ market, with sellers being pleasantly surprised with their prices.

“Bullocks on Monday sold for up to €2.40 per kg.

“A small selection of young bulls made up to €1,000 each or €2.56 per kg.”

Kilmallock

Monday/Wednesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Hr steers 390g 880

4 Lim steers 358kg 830

1 Sim steer 396kg 630

2 Hr heifers 343kg 700

5 Lim heifers 306kg 600

1 Sim cow 450kg 660

1 Lim cow 630kg 920

On Wednesday at Kilmallock, dry cows sold for up to €1,200 a head, or €1.76 per kg. Dairy stock made up to €1.140 (for a seven-year-old calved cow).

Factory bulls made up to €930 each.

Sucklers hit €1,280 (for a three-year-old Charolais and her Charolais heifer calf).

At the mart Friday, 345 lots of calves and runners were on offer.

They sold for up to €560, with over €400 paid on numerous occasions.

Corrin Mart manager Sean Leahy reported “a large sale of cattle on Tuesday, with a strong trade for bullocks and an excellent trade for heifers.

“The trade for dry cows was improved on the previous week.”

In Corrin on Tuesday, store bullocks sold from €150 to €540 with the kilo, with beef bullocks selling up to €820 with the weight.

Store heifers here made from €250 to €500, with butcher types making from €350 to €695 with the kilo.

Corrin mart had 650 cattle on offer on Tuesday.

Corrin

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

8 Ch steers 300kg 840

2 AA steers 570kg 1330

2 Hr steers 485kg 990

1 Ch heifer 560kg 1140

10 Hr heifers 347kg 750

1 Ch cow 750kg 1210

1 Fr cow 875 1020

In Skibbereen on Friday, dry cows sold from €80 to €665 with the kilo. Bullocks made from €300 to €700 with the kilo.

Heifers made from €300 to €635 with their weight.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

4 Ch steers 343kg 880

3 AA steers 346kg 815

5 Hr steers 403kg 825

1 Lm heifer 575kg 1210

2 Ch heifers 555kg 1190

1 Lm cow 620kg 1285

1 Ch cow 785kg 1295

Ennis mart had two large sales of cattle this week. Ann Keane of Clare Co-Op Marts gave us this report.

“We had a big sale of bullocks on Friday with 400 on offer.

“The trade was quite steady on the week, with some very good quality lots on offer.

“We had a strong trade for both light and forward store cattle.

“At our Thursday sale, we had a big entry of cows and heifers once again.

“The trade for beef cows and forward heifers was similar to last week, with the feeder and store cow a bit easier.

“The heifer trade is just holding its own, with a few exceptional prices for top quality lots.”

Ennis

Thursday/Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 805kg 1790

2 AA steers 585kg 1300

4 Ch steers 666kg 1480

2 Hr steers 730kg 1350

1 Lim heifer 520kg 1800

1 BB cow 970kg 2430

1 Lim cow 795kg 1550

Macroom mart had yet another large sale of cattle on Saturday, here dry cows sold from €40 under to €540 with the kilo.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Hr steers 470kg 980

6 Fr steers 450kg 755

1 Ch steer 460kg 1205

2 Lm steers 435kg 960

1 Ch steer 385kg 940

1 Hr heifer 430kg 920

1 Sim cow 805kg 1285

Heifers in Macroom made from €255 to €580 with their weight.

Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bullocks made from €250 to €560 with the kilo. Friesian bullocks sold from €180 to €450 with their weight. Continental bullocks sold from €230 to €745 with their weight. Kilkenny mart had 940 cattle on offer at last Thursday’s general cattle sale.

Kilkenny mart manager, George Candler, gave us this report. “We had another good yard of cattle for the month of July, though it would appear that forward store bullocks, and beef type heifers are getting scarce.

“All Aberdeen Angus of quality met a good selling trade, with a top price on the day of €1,870, paid for an 815kg bullock.

In Kilkenny on Thursday bullocks sold from €1.40 to €2.70/kg. Heifers made from €1.75 to €2.40/kg.

Continental dry cows made from €1.20 to €2.35/kg, with Friesian cull cows selling from €0.95 to €1.75/kg

And looking at the more recent sale of calves in Kilkenny on Monday, George reported, “A smaller sale of calves resulted in a 100% clearance with a top call of €535 for an early March born calf.

“The presence of farmers, exporters, plus north of Ireland buyers, resulted in an excellent trade. Numbers on offer are naturally decreasing but buyers are still enthusiastic, with exporters and farmer buyers all anxious to secure stock.”

Kilkenny mart had 110 calves on offer on Monday.

Kilkenny

Thursday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Hr steers 625kg 1440

3 Fr steers 620kg 1130

4 AA steers 520kg 1070

2 Lim heifers 650kg 1430

1 AA heifer 480kg 910

7 Hr heifers 395kg 830

2 Lim heifers 370kg 880

Overall mart trade

Cattle market trading for the week ending Tuesday, July 7 had bullocks averaging €2/kg, dairy stock on €1,525.

Dry cows were on €1.55/kg.

Heifers were averaging €2.02/kg, suckler cows at €3.18/kg or €1,160 per lot.

Weanling bulls at €2.04/kg and weanling heifers at €2.16/kg. Calves for the week were making €234 a head (source www.livestock-live.com).

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