Report from the cattle marts: Strange pandemic days continue in life and at the mart

Report from the cattle marts: Strange pandemic days continue in life and at the mart
At Dowra Mart in Co Cavan last Saturday, this Piemontese dry cow of 935kg sold for €1.850.

Emma, the youngest in this house, mentioned the other day that we have “really strange weather”.

Our nine-year-old said: “It’s raining one minute, and then it’s OK.”

And while Emma was right with regards to the weather, it’s not the only thing that’s strange.

Since the dawn of Covid-19 the world, and ourselves, have become very strange.

We now shy away from the handshake. We run a mile from the unannounced sneeze. Kissing is practically forbidden. Most faces are covered, as we try and protect ourselves from the dreaded fear of meeting another human being.

Our movements are being curtailed. We now have a green list. But those who gave us the list tell us they’d actually prefer if we didn’t go anywhere at all! What was the point in the green list so? What a waste of time and energy.

We have a world of biologists, chemists, and scientific geniuses of every description. Billions each year are invested in the pharmaceutical industry. An industry housed in grand buildings with grand names, yet none with a cure for the sneezing bug. It’s a puzzle still beyond the reach of all. Where are our Louis Pasteurs and Marie Curies?

Even the marts have changed. We now operate two systems of bidding, in reality, and in the ether.

This week I heard from two farmers with two concerns about online bidding.

The first voiced the suggestion that there could be the possibility of ‘ghost bidding’ happening in the marts. This is the practice whereby an auctioneer accepts a bid not from the ring or online, but from his imagination. A fictitious bid, in other words. A bid used to pump on a trade, in a market already pumped up enough.

Another farmer voiced a concern that his online bid at a certain point was not being taken.

That the eyes of the auctioneer turned away, ignored his bid, to give another chap a chance.

Whether such claims are accurate, it’s not for me to decide.

It’s up to the farmers themselves to voice a complaint to the marts in question.

All I do know is that in these strange days at the mart, we were never more dependent on the honesty of the auctioneer. I know a lot of mart auctioneers, honourable men, so it is very important for their sake that if any weeds or bad apples are in the profession, they are plucked out and tossed to the side. We need a level playing field for all, in these strange times.

And so to the marts we go, where Denis Kirby of GVM reported another fine sale of cattle this week. “Here at Kilmallock, we had a total of 700 stock on offer, with some exceptional prices made.

“Also, on Saturday last, lots from the Curraghtarsna Angus herd sold for up to €4,900, with buyers from as far away as Donegal and Cavan purchasing Angus stock.”

Earlier this week, on Monday, bullocks at Kilmallock sold for up to €1,460 each, or €2.43 per kg. On Wednesday, dry cows sold for up to €1,340 a head, or €2.02 per kg. Heifers made up to €1,430 each, or €2.44 per kg.

Dairy stock sold for up to €1,400 a head, with factory bulls hitting €1,500.

On Friday last, calves and runners hit €505.

Next Monday, August 3, Kilmallock mart will have a special section for beef bullocks, and on Wednesday, August 5, there will be a beef section for cows and heifers.



No Breed Sex Weight €

4 Hr steers 391kg 870

7 AA steers 294kg 640

3 Lim steers 440kg 1070

4 Fr steers 543kg 890

2 Lm heifers 333kg 760

5 hr heifers 311kg 720

1 Hr cow 450kg 860

Next we go to Kanturk mart and to Denis Murphy for a report on Tuesday’s mart sale.

“We had a huge sale for the time of year, with over 600 animals on offer. It was a flying trade, with both ringside and online buyers competing. This was our very first online sale, and it was a huge success, with a 100% clearance.”

Upcoming sales at Kanturk mart includes a show and sale for autumn born weanlings on August 4, sponsored by Boherbue Co-op.

All Kanturk mart sales now online, via the LSL app.



No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Ch steers 573kg 1200

9 Fr steers 632kg 1100

1 AA steer 480kg 1030

1 Hr heifer 465kg 920

1 AA heifer 430kg 870

1 BB cow 570kg 1090

1 Fr cow 705kg 1020

At Skibbereen mart on Friday, dry cows sold from €60 to €725 with the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks made from €270 to €610 with the kilo. Continental bullocks made from €350 to €795 with the kilo. Heifers sold from €240 to €620 over the weight.



No Breed Sex Weight €

3 AA steers 595kg 1205

3 Hr steers 375kg 910

1 BB steer 605kg 1400

2 Ch steers 460kg 1160

1 AA heifer 730kg 1350

2 Lm heifers 485kg 1080

1 Lm cow 595kg 1300

Geraldine Walsh of Clare Co-Op marts gave us this report after Friday’s sale. “We had a very big sale of bullocks for the time of year, with almost 600 on offer.



No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 765kg 1690

1 Hr steer 700kg 1390

2 Ch steers 497kg 1240

4 AA steers 454kg 900

4 Ch steers 534kg 1280

6 Fr steers 630kg 1140

“Trade was strong but not quite as dear as last week, with more variable cattle available. Some very strong prices were paid for top quality lots. Not as much beef cattle today as the last few weeks.”

There will be no sale in Dungarvan mart this coming bank holiday Monday, August 3. Entries are now being taken for Monday, August 10. Dungarvan mart provides a calf collection service to bring calves to the mart on Mondays. Contact Dungarvan Mart at 058-41611 for further details. And log into to view the mart online.

Further afield, mart manager Patsy Smith had this report following Saturday’s sale at Dowra mart in Co Cavan. “We had a very big sale of cattle again this week with 490 lots sold.

“All cattle were still a very good trade with the quality lots in all classes maybe even a shade dearer than last week. Another very big sale of store heifers saw some of the quality lots meeting very keen demand both from bidders online and buyers around the ring.”



No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Ch steer 460kg 11800

1 AA steer 490kg 1080

1 Lm steer 485kg 1160

1 Lm heifer 490kg 1310

2 Ch heifers 480kg 1150

1 AA heifer 600kg 1400

2 Ch cow 530kg 1025

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