Cattle marts report: Quality stock fetching good prices, but plain animals are struggling

Unlike the jails of Rio, where I hear the water is scarce (the taps only run for a couple of minutes every day), our farms this week have seen plenty of the watery stuff.

But it’s not all bad news from Brazil either, because I heard the jails there have an ‘open door policy’ with regards to conjugal visits. ‘Every cloud....’ as the fellow says.

Anyhow, moving swiftly on from the randy jailhouses of Rio and going back to the mart trade and the rain, this week with cattle more inclined towards the ditch than an open space, it’s no surprise that the trade in the mart isn’t exactly all sunshine and roses.

The only roses this week are in Tralee.

“Quality stock were up in price, with plainer types a little more difficult to sell,” was the straightforward report we received from Denis Kirby of Kilmallock mart and his comment really sums up the cattle trade this week.

Kilmallock mart on Monday had over 1,000 cattle on offer, this included an impressive 66 pens of bullocks. Bullocks here sold for up to €2.38 per kg. Heifers hit €2.47 per kg. 

Suckler cows were a “flying trade,” according to Denis with a top seller, a six-year-old Limousin cow and her Limousin heifer calf, making €1,690.

Dry cows (Kilmallock had 80 on offer) sold for up to €1.91 per kg. Weanling bulls sold for up to €2.55 per kg, and Denis wrapped up by saying, “Calves of all ages are in big demand at the moment, with up to €705 paid here in the calf ring on Monday” (for a 26-week-old Belgian Blue heifer).

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 AA steers 376kg 865

3 Hr steers 362kg 805

6 Fr steers 323kg 600

2 Lm heifers 305kg 600

2 Hr heifers 343kg 735

2 AA heifers 330kg 750

1 Fr cow 480kg 720

Numbers of livestock on offer at the marts are on the rise. Similar to the scene in Kilmallock on Monday, Corrin mart on Tuesday also had 1,000 cattle up for grabs. And if you wanted to grab a bullock, stores in Corrin sold from €180 to €500 over the kilo, with beef bullocks making up to €650 with the weight. 

“We had a large selection of cattle here today,” mart manager Sean Leahy told me on Tuesday evening, “with the good steady trade continuing for bullocks, heifers and dry cows.”

Store heifers in Corrin on Tuesday made from €220 to €550 over the kilo with butcher types making up to €790 over the kilo. Dry cows in Corrin made from €400 up to €1,230 a head.

Corrin

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Ch steer 670kg 1485

9 Ch steers 498kg 1145

3 Lm steers 528kg 1095

1 Lm heifer 610kg 1400

2 Sim heifers 390kg 850

5 AA heifers 380kg 845

1 Ch cow 730kg 1230

I saw a report during the week that screamed it’s now ‘war’ between the IFA and ABP. And why the outbreak of hostilities, you might ask? Is it due to the fact that we have been getting a battering at the factory gate all year long?

Well no, not entirely, it seems this ‘war’ has been declared after ABP sent letters to us farmers asking if we would like to go on paying a levy which supports farm organisations like the IFA.

Membership money, in other words, is taking the hit, so war has been declared.

Forgive me for being bold here, but isn’t the IFA still in a mess, due to its fixation with money?

And now we hear of this declaration of war on an issue where a big player in the meat business is targeting levy payments!

Bluntly put, the IFA needs to stop this fascination with looking up its own arse, and start focusing on the farmer. Particularly the beef farmer.

2016 has been a lousy year for beef farmers, and where is the battle being fought for us?

The time for war is not when the well-padded bunker containing the high brass takes a hit. War on the meat factories should have been under way long before now.

And with my sermon over for the week and my scolding done, we will return to the marts, and next we head to Macroom where, after Saturday’s cattle sale, mart manager John O’Mahony, had this to report.

“We had a big sale of cattle here for this time of the year, with a great display of quality stock on offer. On Saturday last we had our first annual weanling show and sale, which was met with an excellent trade at ringside for all types of stock.”

And in Macroom on Saturday, dry cows sold from €50 under to €655 over the kilo. Continental bullocks sold up to €645 over the kilo. Hereford and Aberdeen bullocks sold from €250 to €470 over their weight. Heifers in Macroom on Saturday sold from €235 to €650 over the kilo.

In Macroom on Saturday weanling bulls sold from €300 to €810 over the kilo. with heifer weanlings making from €275 to €610 with their weight.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Hr steers 470kg 930

2 Ch steers 475kg 1120

3 Lm steers 410kg 850

1 Lm heifer 560kg 1210

1 Au heifer 490kg 1050

1 Lm cow 805kg 1460

1 Ch cow 845kg 1460

Bandon mart is now seeing a larger number of strong calves appearing at its sales.

On Monday last the mart had 160 calves on offer, with the Friesian bull calf selling from €110 to €320 a head and with up to €400 being paid for the runner types.

Continental bullocks on Monday sold from €450 to €850 with the kilo.

Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €350 to €600 with the kilo. Friesian bullocks sold from €200 to €450 with the weight. Heifers in Bandon made from €300 to €625 with the kilo.

Dry cows made from €100 under to €620 with the kilo.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Ch steers 358kg 930

5 Fr steers 422kg 740

1 Lm heifer 700kg 1300

6 Hr heifers 396kg 750

1 Ch cow 605kg 1225

1 Sim cow 780kg 1270

“We had a big sale with numbers up on last week. There was a good heifer trade here on Monday with a slight easing in the Friesian cattle price, especially for plainer lots,” Dungarvan mart manager Ger Flynn reported after Monday’s cattle sale.

Dungarvan

Monday

1 AA steer 720kg 1375

5 BB steers 554kg 1170

2 Lm steers 580kg 1210

5 Sim heifers 506kg 930

2 AA heifers 415kg 845

1 Sim cow 785kg 1370

1 Fr cow 830kg 1200

Next we turn to Kanturk where mart manager Seamus O’Keefe gave us this report after Tuesday’s cattle sale.

“On Tuesday we had our second autumn born weanling show and sale, kindly sponsored by Southern Milling, with International Miss Macra 2016 Sinéad Guiney assisting with the prize giving.

“The supreme champion on Tuesday was a Limousin bullock, weighing 440kg, owned by William Fehin, Freemount.

“The prize winner sold for €1,240, with William also taking home the Southern Milling Cup, a half tonne of weanling munch and a piece of crystal from the Tipperary Crystal Range.

“The reserve champion was a Belgian Blue heifer owned by Gerard Devitt of Kiskeam. This heifer weighed 375kg and was sold for €1,200.

“Gerard received a half tonne of ration and a piece of crystal from the New Grange Living Range.

“On Tuesday we also had a heifer promotion, where the owner of the best lot of heifers sold per kg would receive a half tonne of ration.

“The winner here was Michael McAuliffe, Meelin. His four Aberdeen Angus heifers made €2.20/kg.”

Kanturk

Tuesday

1 Lm steer 730kg 1300

1 Fr steer 800kg 1260

7 Lm steers 495kg 1130

2 Hr heifers 500kg 1010

1 Sim heifer 315kg 1000

2 Lm heifers 535kg 1070

1 Fr cow 745kg 1090

On Friday at Skibbereen, mart dry cows sold from €100 under to €735 with the kilo.

Continental bullocks here sold from €450 to €750 with the kilo.

Hereford and Angus bullocks made from €320 to €635 with their weight.

Friesian bullocks in Skibbereen sold from €200 to €400 with their weight.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Ch steers 483kg 1215

3 Lm steers 448kg 1115

4 Fr steers 351kg 565

5 Hr steers 643kg 1200

2 AA steers 462kg 930

1 Sim cow 845kg 1500

1 Ch cow 845kg 1580


Lifestyle

It’s the personal stories from Bruce Springsteen that turn his new ‘Western Stars’ documentary into something special, the director tells Esther McCarthy.Bruce Springsteen's Western Stars documentary more than just a music film

Apart from the several variations in its spelling in Irish and English, Inishtubbrid, Co Clare is also recognised by three other names: Wall’s Island; O’Grady’s Island and Inishtubber which surely puts it up there as the island with most names — not counting say Inisvickillane, Co Kerry which has about 33 variations to that spelling.The Islands of Ireland: In search of tranquility

More and more communities and volunteers are taking on environmental tasks around the country. In Clonmel, Co Tipperary, for example, people have united to get rid of Himalayan balsam, an invasive plant, from the banks of the River Suir.‘Bashing’ invasive plants

Halloween has become a consumer fest in recent years but there are a number of ways to reduce costs and waste — and make itHappy sustainable Halloween: Don’t be horrified with the waste at Halloween

More From The Irish Examiner