A good week for making hay and selling cattle, as dry cow prices soar in Skibbereen

The marts are back, albeit tethered like a well spancilled old goat.
A good week for making hay and selling cattle, as dry cow prices soar in Skibbereen
At Skibbereen Mart last Friday, six Hereford heifers born February to May, 2019, that weighed 315kg and sold for €630.

While it might be said that there is never a good time to sell cattle, I believe this week wouldn't be the worst. The marts are back, albeit tethered like a well spancilled old goat. The weather seems promising enough. The factory trade is showing signs of life. But most importantly of all, there is confidence. Confidence, the greatest driver of all in farming, and life, is back in the cattle business.
While some plucky farmers have hay down and are hoping to transform it into glorious hay bales before the week is out, others (perhaps less ambitious) are visiting the marts, cheque book in hand hoping to surprise the folks back home by purchasing a few nice cattle.
And whatever about the hay being saved, cattle are being purchased. Our mart trade for cattle is thriving with cattle marts like Skibbereen (where I was on Friday) having a nice selection on offer to suit the discerning buyer.
In Skibbereen on Friday dry cows were a super trade selling from €200 to €665 with the kilo or up to €2/kg. There was a strong trade for bullocks and heifers, bullocks made from €300 to €750 with the kilo. Heifers made up to €770 with their weight.
But that's not all from the west Cork mart, in Skibb tomorrow, Friday, the mart will be holding a special sale for Autumn born weanlings. With the mart receiving strong inquires for weanlings at present, it's sure to be a lively sale.

No Breed Sex Weight €
2 Lim steers 485kg 1135
2 Ch steers 432kg 1090
2 Hr steers 302kg 655
2 Ch heifers 336kg 850
5 Hr heifers 328kg 675
1 AA cow 795kg 1460
1 Ch cow 770kg 1300

Kilkenny mart manager George Candler gave us this report following Monday's calf sale, "A slightly bigger sale of calves and runners here in Kilkenny on Monday compared to last week.
"The extension of compulsory TB testing from 6 weeks to 120 days is helping to flush out more calves. Buyers still remaining active as we enter mid July. At our sale a Belgian Blue heifer calf sold for €470 while strong Hereford bulls made up to €390 a head. The trade was helped by the presence of farmers, exporters and a few North of Ireland buyers."
Kilkenny mart had 140 calves on offer on Monday.
And looking back to last Thursday's general cattle sale, George added "We had a smaller sale of cattle compared to last week with the trade sharper for all lots.
"Beef bullocks and heifers were in short supply. All cull cows met an excellent selling trade. On Thursday 23rd July we will be holding a special sale of beef bullocks, heifers and cull cows."
Kilkenny mart had 750 cattle on offer.

No Breed Sex Weight €
1 Ch steer 825kg 1770
3 Fr steers 540kg 1030
7 Ch steers 510kg 1320
6 Sim steers 480kg 1060
9 Hr steers 380kg 860
5 Hr heifers 605kg 1180
1 BB heifer 580kg 1370

Over the past week 700 cattle have gone under the hammer at Kilmallock. "An increase in factory prices, strong grass growth and plenty of export buyers are making cattle a fantastic trade. "Denis Kirby of GVM reported.
Bullocks in Kilmallock on Monday sold for up to €2.50/kg. Good Friesian bullocks on the day hit €2/kg.
On Wednesday dry cows hit €1250 a head or €1.97/kg. Heifers sold for up to €2.56/kg.
Dairy stock sold for up to €1280 (paid for a six-year-old calved cow). Factory bulls made up to €1180, and sucklers hit €1260 (paid for an 11-year-old Charolais and her Limousin heifer calf).
At Friday's calf sale March born runners sold for up to €610 each, younger calves made up to €350.

No Breed Sex Weight €
6 AA steers 393kg 850
6 Hr steers 355kg 830
2 Ch steers 528kg 1150
4 Fr steers 444kg 840
2 AA heifers 343kg 690
3 Hr heifers 332kg 650
1 AA cow 475kg 770

Ann Keane of Ennis mart reported a solid trade for bullocks on Friday. "We had a fine size sale on Friday with 470 bullocks on offer. The trade could only be described as very satisfactory, with some lovely quality stock on offer.
"There were a share of heavy bullocks over 30 months of age available and these averaged €2.07 per kg and some of these were over 40 months of age. Again some very fancy prices for quality stores.
And looking back to last Thursday's sale of dry cows Ann reported,
"We had a big sale of cull cows on Thursday with almost 250 on offer.
"The trade was strong for beef cows, with again, a lot of Northern activity for the fleshed out cow.
Trade for the storish cow similar to last week, with more Friesian cows available.
"We had a large entry of 200 heifers, with top quality heifers a smashing trade and strong demand for all types.
"A large entry of aged bulls averaged €1.69/kg with a super Limousin bull of 1,065kgs making €2,010."

No Breed Sex Weight €
1 Lim steer 465kg 1250
4 Ch steers 444kg 1250
8 Ch steers 656kg 1440
6 Fr steers 534kg 900
1 Lim heifer 365kg 960
3 Ch heifers 368kg 880
1 Lm cow 810kg 1700

In Macroom mart on Saturday dry cows sold from €50 under to €575 with the kilo. Heifers in Macroom made from €240 to €725 with their weight. Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bullocks made from €255 to €655 with the kilo. Continental bullocks sold from €315 to €735 with their weight. Weanling bulls made from €330 to €520 with their weight.

No Breed Sex Weight €
2 Hr steers 745kg 1400
6 AA steers 400kg 885
1 Sim steer 595kg 1285
2 Ch steers 550kg 1175
1 Lm heifer 575kg 1300
2 BB heifers 405kg 840
1 Hr cow 800kg 1270

Dungarvan mart provides a calf collection service to bring calves to the mart on Mondays. Contact Dungarvan Mart on 058 41611 for further details. And to view the mart online, log into www.livestock-live.com.

No Breed Sex Weight €
1 BB steer 405kg 905
3 Fr steers 476kg 840
5 Hr steers 416kg 850
3 Lim steers 380kg 910
8 Lim heifers 292kg830
1 Fr cow 905kg 1350
1 Hr cow 590kg 920

Overall mart trade
Cattle market trading for the week ending Tuesday July 14th had bullocks averaging €2.06/kg, dairy stock on €1,525. Dry cows were on €1.56/kg. Heifers were averaging €2.08/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).

More in this section


Keep up-to-date with all the latest developments in Farming with our weekly newsletter

Sign up

Our Covid-free newsletter brings together some of the best bits from irishexaminer.com, as chosen by our editor, direct to your inbox every Monday.

Sign up
News Wrap

A lunchtime summary of content highlights on the Irish Examiner website. Delivered at 1pm each day.

Sign up