Cattle marts report: Ringside talk turns to need for timely farm payments as prices fall for plain animals

“We are seeing very large numbers of cattle appearing at our sale for the time of year,” Thurles mart manager Martin Ryan said to me after Monday’s cattle sale.

“A lot of cattle are now being forced out due to the recent wet weather and poorer grazing conditions. And you will find top quality continental stores are holding their own in value, but the plainer Friesian bullock is really starting to suffer.”

And on that sombre note, we begin our look at the mart trade for this, the last week of September.

A week that has seen both the rain and the price of the plainer animal fall.

Thurles

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 AA steers 405kg 880

3 Fr steers 356kg 630

5 Hr steers 414kg 870

2 Ch steers 490kg 1200

1 BB heifer 445kg 990

2 Lm heifers 385kg 790

2 Ch heifers 452kg 1020

Naturally enough, many will now be wondering, with some farm payments issued and more about to begin, will such funds have an effect on the trade? Will that extra bit of cash in our pockets give the mart trade a lively jolt?

Well, to my mind, a farm payment isa lot like the hair on the head of Donald Trump. It might seem awfully impressive at first glance, but when you examine it, when you get right down into it, you will find that there is really very little to go around.

Most farmers will use their farm payment to pay, or at least dampen down, their bills. With many having a list of creditors as long as your arm, at the end of the day, there is usually very little remaining to put into cattle.

The farm payment is really a stability fund. Without it, our entire rural economy would collapse.

Silage contractors, vets, and merchants depend more on our farm payment than we do.

And while its arrival into the bank has never really had a noticeable effect on mart prices, it certainly provides stability at cattle sales.

Staying on the subject of our payments, this year’s delivery of the funds will of course be the first big test for Minister Creed.

Can he ensure payments will be made on time? Or will it be the same as before, with many of us forced to go to the telephone come late October in a state of bewilderment, once again wondering why we have been forgotten, with our payments yet to arrive.

And much as I admire and respect the Department of Agriculture staff who man the phones up there in Portloise, I would just love, just once, to receive the much needed dough without having to talk to them on the blower.

Moving on, we turn to Minister Creed’s local stomping ground, namely Macroom mart. In Macroom on Saturday last, dry cows sold from €190 under to €455 over the kilo. 

Continental bullocks sold from €285 to €645 over the kilo. Hereford and Aberdeen bullocks sold from €240 to €515 over their weight. Heifers in Macroom on Saturday sold from €230 to €590 over the kilo. 

Weanling bulls in Macroom sold from €270 to €570 over the kilo, with weanling heifers selling from €235 to €525 over the kilo.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Hr steers 390kg 800

1 AA steer 505kg 1020

2 Ch steers 510kg 1155

1 Lm steer 425kg 1125

1 Sim heifer 405kg 945

1 Lm cow 675kg 950

1 Fr cow 735kg 1190

In Bandon on Monday continental bullocks sold up to €750 over the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €380 to €625 with the kilo.

Friesian bullocks in Bandon made from €225 to €450 with the weight. Heifers in Bandon on Monday made from €250 to €550 with the kilo. Dry cows sold from €150 under to €510 with the kilo.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Lm steers 473kg 1085

4 Ch steers 488kg 1040

6 Fr steers 498kg 805

1 AA heifer 560kg 1105

1 BB heifer 395kg 870

1 Fr cow 895kg 1110

1 Lm cow 655kg 1150

We go next to Kanturk mart and to mart manager Seamus O’Keefe who gave us the following report. “On Tuesday last, we saw 1,053 cattle pass through the mart, with over 400 weanlings on offer for our spring born show and sale.

“We also had an organic weanling section for the first time, and this was a great success. With over 170 buyers present, there was a flying trade in both rings.

“Our supreme champion on Tuesday was a Belgian Blue female weanling owned by Gerard Devitt of Doon, Knocknagree, and weighing 420kg, this weanling made €1,250. The buyer was Billy Dunne of Errill, Co Laois.

“The best pen went to Denis Frawley of Lisgriffin for four Limousin weanling bullocks. These weighed 355kg and were sold to John Lynch, Blarney, Co Cork, for €890 each. Our next weanling show and sale for spring born weanlings will be held on October 18.”

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 AA steers 575kg 1100

1 Ch steer 520kg 1060

9 Hr steers 530kg 965

1 AA heifer 555kg 1040

1 Sim heifer 505kg 965

1 Fr cow 735kg 1000

1 Fr cow 715kg 890

“We had a big sale here on Monday with prices easier all round. More dry cows have been coming on to the market in recent weeks with the market for weanlings is very strong, especially for quality continental bulls,” reported Dungarvan mart manager Ger Flynn after Monday’s cattle sale.

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

6 Sim steers 558kg 1170

3 Lm steers 545kg 1125

2 BB steers 509kg 1020

1 Lm heifer 605kg 1300

1 AA heifer 545kg 1035

2 Sim cows 750kg 1070

2 Hr cows 733kg 1035

Mart manager Tom McCarthy reported “a smaller but improved trade” at Skibbereen mart on Friday last.

In Skibbereen, dry cows sold from €200 under to €530 with the kilo. Continental bullocks here made from €400 to €620 with their weight.

Friesian bullocks here sold from €250 to €460 over the kilo. Hereford and Angus bullocks made from €350 to €550 with the kilo. Heifers in Skibbereen sold from €250 to €610 with the kilo. 

Weanling bulls made from €350 to €600 with their weight, while weanling heifers sold from €300 to €550 with the kilo.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Ch steers 490kg 1100

2 Lm steers 572kg 1230

2 Fr steers 492kg 800

1 Sim heifer 395kg 830

1 Ch heifer 540kg 1150

1 Ch cow 780kg 1310

1 Fr cow 790kg 1030

Kilmallock mart on Monday had 1,435 stock on offer, with auctioneers reporting “a very strong trade”.

A total of 209 buyers were in attendance. Bullocks in Kilmallock on Monday sold up to €2.41 per kg. Dry cows hit a high of €1.82 per kg. Heifers made up to €2.46 per kg. Weanlings bulls sold for up €3.67 per kg while weanling heifers hit €2.75 per kg.

On this Saturday, October 1, the Kilmallock mart’s autumn organic sale will take place, commencing at 11am sharp. Around 300 cattle will be on offer at this sale, made up mostly of weanlings.

From Monday, October 3, the bullock and dry cow sales will commence at 10.15am sharp.

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Lm steers 383kg 855

4 Hr steers 393kg 825

3 Fr steers 610kg 1000

2 Lm heifers 340kg 835

2 Ch heifers 325kg 610

1 Sim cow 600kg 1090

1 Ch cow 845kg 1325

And finally for this week we go to Corrin Mart where mart manager Sean Leahy reported “a good strong trade for bullocks” on Tuesday last, with “a steadier trade” for heifers.

On Tuesday in Corrin, store bullocks sold from €150 to €420 over the kilo, with forward store bullocks making up to €640 over the kilo.

Heifers on Tuesday made from €250 to €450 over the kilo with butcher types making up to €905 with their weight. And that €905 with the kilo was paid for a Hereford heifer weighing 680kg, she made €1585. She must have been some heifer.

Dry cows in Corrin mart on Tuesday sold from €400 up to €1,300 a head.

Corrin

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Lm steer 545kg 1185

6 Fr steers 554kg 1130

5 AA steers 614kg 1185

2 AA heifers 380kg 800

2 Lm heifers 545kg 1150

1 Fr cow 780kg 1130

1 Pt cow 735kg 1300


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