Cattle marts report: Cattle prices remain steady in a week when thoughts turn to the Ploughing

“There ain’t no point in talking when there’s nobody listening,” the ever lively Rod Stewart once sang on a hit song.

And this week I feel a lot like old Rod, and he singing about being ignored. 

Who wants to read about the cattle trade and all the action above ground this week, when what’s happening at plough level has the country enthralled?

With ploughing fever on the brain, and everyone pounding the fields of Tullamore, there’s an awful feeling about that I could well be talking to myself.

But regardless of my lonely station, like a solitary fellow stranded on the moon, I’ll carry on with my mission, for that is what I do.

So we will go first to Bandon mart where on Monday every farmer I met was harping on about Tullamore.

Even mart manager Tom McCarthy was heading to the Ploughing.

“Will you be fronting some stand up there?” I asked. 

“Not at all,” Tom replied, “sure this is my stall right here.”

And at Tom’s stall on Monday, dry cow numbers were certainly on the up. Bandon mart had 140 dry cows on offer on Monday. With grass starting to disappear, the culling has begun. 

The top price for a dry cow on Monday was paid for a nice fleshy dry cow born in 2014, weighing 640kg, she made €1,200. She ticked all the boxes, having youth on her side and flesh on her back.

In Bandon on Monday, continental bullocks sold from €450 with the kilo to €720 over the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €380 to €620 with the kilo.

Friesian bullocks in Bandon made from €200 to €350 with the weight. Heifers in Bandon on Monday made from €250 to €450 with the kilo.

Dry cows sold from €150 under to €510 with the kilo.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Lm steers 622kg 1330

1 BB steer 490kg 1080

5 Fr steers 460kg 770

7 Hr heifers 392kg 720

6 AA heifers 504kg 930

1 Fr cow 790kg 1145

1 Sim cow 690kg 1020

Staying with good old Rod Stewart, another song of his that came suddenly to mind during the week.

“I am sailing... I am sailing... stormy waters.... across the sea.” With news that Turkey might finally be taking ship loads of our beef, it was no surprise that I had sailing on the brain.

But before we get too excited and start pulling out our white tissues to wave bye bye to our weanlings at the quayside, there is, to my mind, one gaping hole in the shipping plan.

It’s this offer of €2.20 per kilo to secure the weanling bulls to fill the vessel.

I don’t know about you, but €2.20/kg sounds a bit watery to me. Indeed, I feel it’s a shot well below the waterline.

A price of €2.20 per kilo gives the whole thing that sinking feeling, before ever having left the port.

Put another way, if a fellow going to a cattle sale this week was under orders to secure a load of good quality weanling bulls with an overall average price of €2.20 per kilo, he’d be a man under pressure.

I couldn’t see it being achieved without slipping Friesian bulls into the mix.

If you ask me, which of course you would if you weren’t so fascinated with the Ploughing, the farmer selling weanling bulls would be better sticking to the mart and letting the buyers fight for the weanlings there. The purse strings need to be loosened, if a smooth sailing is the aim.

Anyway we will sail on from Turkey, heading next to that mart by the sea — namely Dungarvan.

“We had a big sale of cattle here on Monday with a steady trade throughout for all kinds of forward store,” was the verdict given by Dungarvan mart manager Ger Flynn after Monday’s cattle sale.

“We had a very good heifer trade also,” Ger added.

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Lm steers 721kg 1350

5 Lm steers 434kg 920

2 Ch heifers 570kg 1155

5 Lm heifers 450kg 980

6 Lm heifers 442kg 930

1 Sim cow 755kg 1050

1 Fr cow 760kg 1030

Corrin Mart manager Sean Leahy reported “a good steady trade for bullocks” on Tuesday last, with “a similar trade to last week” for heifers.

On Tuesday, store bullocks sold from €120 to €420 over the kilo, with forward store bullocks making up to €540 over the kilo.

Heifers on Tuesday made from €200 to €400 over the kilo with butcher types making up to €525 with their weight.

Dry cows in Corrin made from €450 up to €1,110 a head.

Corrin

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 BB steers 520kg 1060

1 Lm steer 490kg 1030

2 Hr steers 397kg 825

2 Lm heifers 395kg 765

1 Hr heifer 495kg 975

1 Ch cow 747kg 1110

1 Fr cow 850kg 1030

In Macroom on Saturday, dry cows sold from €70 under to €515 over the kilo. Continental bullocks sold from €280 to €640 over the kilo.

Hereford and Aberdeen bullocks sold from €222 to €500 over their weight.

Heifers in Macroom on Saturday sold from €230 to €840 over the kilo. Weanling bulls in Macroom sold from €290 to €625 over the kilo.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 AA steers 400kg 810

3 Hr steers 320kg 650

2 Ch steers 580kg 1205

4 Lm steers 510kg 1110

2 Lm heifers 505kg 1105

1 BB cow 730kg 1120

1 Lm cow 775kg 1290

Moving next to Kanturk, mart manager, Seamus O’Keeffe, gave us the following report after Tuesday’s cattle sale.

“We had a big sale of 400 cattle, despite a lot of customers attending the Ploughing Championships. On Tuesday, exceptional prices were paid for all types of cattle, especially heavier cattle.”

Next Tuesday, September 27, Kanturk mart will be holding a weanling show and sale. The sale will be sponsored by Boherbue Co-Op Creameries and will also have a section for organic weanling stock.

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Fr steers 662kg 1170

1 Lm steer 550kg 1190

8 AA steers 485kg 900

2 Hr steers 475kg 880

1 BB heifer 490kg 1000

1 AA heifer 600kg 1160

1 Fr cow 765kg 1020

1,315 cattle were on offer at Kilmallock mart on Monday. “Trade was very lively, with winter feeders very active at the ringsides,” Denis Kirby of Kilmallock mart reported.

Bullocks here sold for up to €2.47 per kg, the top seller in the bullock ring being an Aberdeen Angus weighing 855kg, making €1725.

Heifers in Kilmallock sold to a high of €2.05 per kg.

Dry cows made up to €1.59 per kg. Weanling bulls made up to €2.90 per kg.

In the suckler ring, one fine five-year-old Hereford and her Hereford heifer calf sold for €1,500, while a two-year-old Blonde (due to calve October/November) made €1,390.

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Lm steers 390kg 885

10 AA steers 398kg 875

4 Hr steers 356kg 725

2 Sim heifers 348kg 700

1 Hr heifer 475kg 950

1 Sim heifer 535kg 1040

1 Fr cow 435kg 690

And finally, In Skibbereen mart of Friday last, dry cows sold from €100 under to €550 with the kilo.

Continental bullocks here made from €400 to €710 with their weight.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Ch steer 550kg 1260

1 Lm steer 675kg 1380

2 Sim steers 665kg 1360

6 Ba steers 405kg 970

1 Fr cow 660kg 990

1 Ch cow 715kg 1020

1 Lm cow 710kg 1250

READ MORE: The Irish Examiner / ICMSA farming survey: Methodology 

Find more on the Irish Examiner ICMSA farming survey HERE


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