Great value for buyers as Castleisland mart serves up a wealth of excellent weanlings

I went to Castleisland mart in Kerry on Monday.

And whatever about bargains in the weanling ring, I spotted diesel at the pump in Garveys on the Scartaglen road priced at 140.9c/litre.

So it was with my tank full that I arrived at Castleisland mart.

There was a good yard of weanlings for sale on Monday and I met up with Castleisland mart manager Richard Harnett to ask how the trade was going.

“There is a lot of interest in weanlings at the moment and the numbers are up a good bit in the last couple of weeks,” Richard explained to me.

“Because of the good year, a lot of the weanlings are coming out 30kgs to 50kgs heavier than they have been for the last five to six years.

“It’s very easy to put kilos on weanlings at this time of the year. And this year because of the good weather many farmers are holding onto weanlings hoping that the price will continue to rise.

“It’s mainly farmer customers that we are seeing purchasing weanlings, exporters are going very strong also, but the type of weanlings that are suitable for export are nearly all gone now,” he said.

“The farmer customers are buying weanlings in anticipation that they will get a good price for beef next year.

“Farmers are very resilient, and they always live in hope,” Richard added.

“And how is the mood amongst the suckler farmers?” I asked.

“The mood has improved a good bit since the beginning of September, because at least beef cattle in the factory are no longer falling in price and if anything the price is hardening,” Richard replied.

“And I do think that there will be a good demand for suckler replacements for the back end of this year.

“After the disastrous weather of 2012 there were very little replacements bought. But those that have the courage to stay in suckling are certainly buying them now.”

And staying in a positive mood Richard had this to add.

“And there is a strong expectation that the new farming grants that will be coming out in 2015 will be diverted towards the suckler farmer in the disadvantaged area.”

“That’s a hope I suppose, Richard,” I said. “A hope that the money will be diverted.”

“Sure of course it’s a hope,” Richard replied, “we always live in hope. We hoped that we would win the all Ireland, and we won it.”



No Breed Sex Weight €

3 AA steers 530kg 940

2 Ch steers 496kg 930

2 Lm steers 508kg 1065

1 Ch steer 770kg 1500

3 Lm heifers 520kg 980

2 Hr heifers 575kg 1025

1 Hr heifer 650kg 1250

And leaving the victorious Co Kerry behind us, we return to camogie and ladies football winners Co Cork and to last Friday’s cattle sale in Skibbereen on Friday, where continental bullocks sold from €400 to €700 over the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €300 to €550 with the kilo. While Friesian bullocks sold from €150 to €300 with the kilo.

Dry cows in Skibbereen made from €100 under to €580 over the kilo. Heifers in Skibbereen sold from €230 over to €650 with their weight.

Next Friday, Skibbereen mart will host a weanling show and sale. Gates open at 7am. Judging starts at 10am, and the sale begins at 11am.



No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Ch steers 546kg 1220

2 BB steers 397kg 915

4 Fr steers 447kg 650

4 AA steers 532kg 950

2 Ch heifers 452kg 1060

3 Hr heifers 397kg 765

1 Ch cow 495kg 900

Moving on to Waterford and to Dungarvan

mart on Monday where mart manager Ger Flynn had this to report.

“There was a good firm trade all round on Monday for all types of stock.”



No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Ch steers 592kg 1225

4 Hr steers 577kg 1160

8 Lm steers 529kg 1085

2 Lm heifers 505kg 965

2 Lm heifer 492kg 950

5 Hr heifers 455kg 855

1 Fr cow 665kg 1010

And it’s to Limerick we go next and to that monster of a mart in Kilmallock

. Kilmallock had 1,185 cattle on offer on Monday with Denis Kirby telling me that they witnessed “an exceptional trade”.

“Every ring was packed with buyers. There was a lift in price for all types and breeds,” he said.

In dairy, a four-year-old calved Friesian cow sold for €1,300, while a two-year-old calved heifer made €1,130. In suckling, a 10-year-old Simmental and her two adopted heifer calves sold for €1,390. While a six-year-old Limousin, time up in three weeks to Limousin, made €1,310.

This Saturday the mart will host an organic cattle sale. The sale begins at 11am with over 300 stock on offer.

And next Monday October 6 a special weanling sale takes place in Kilmallock.



No Breed Sex Weight €

10 Hr steers 372kg 835

5 Ch steers 383kg 830

7 AA steers 395kg 800

6 Fr steers 391kg 730

3 AA heifers 275kg 780

2 Lm heifers 340kg 735

1 Sim heifer 310kg 685

Next to Macroom

, where I was at Tuesday’s sheep sale. There was a good scattering of sheep and farmers in the mart. I was there on the lookout for a few breeding ewes, but by mistake didn’t I come away with a few wethers.

And as most experts in sheep will tell you , the wether is far from the most suitable boyo for breeding.



No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Fr steers 480kg 800

5 AA steer 480 kg 975

6 Hr steers 400kg 860

1 BB steer 595kg 1215

4 Ch steers 420kg 1075

1 Sim heifer 490kg 1000

1 Ch cow 660kg 1040

It was a mistake entirely of my own doing, I waved my finger at the wrong time.

But sure as saying goes — a fellow who never made a mistake never made anything.

Anyway moving quickly on from my failings as a farmer and looking back at the cattle sale in Macroom on Saturday, mart manager John O’Mahony had this account for me.

“We had a good trade for cattle here on Saturday, with good prices for all stock across the board. In particular, bullocks sold very well with a noticeable increase of buyers.”

Macroom mart will be holding its second annual weanling show and sale this Saturday, October 4.

Next we turn to Bandon

where on Monday the mart had 150 calves on offer. Dry cows here made from €50 to €410 with the kilo. There was a big sale of heifers in Bandon and here they sold from €250 to €605 with their weight.

In Bandon continental bullocks sold from €350 to €600 over the kilo. Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks ranged in price from €350 to €655 with the kilo. While Friesian bullocks sold from €150 to €560 with the kilo.



No Breed Sex Weight €

4 Lm steers 653kg 1200

10 Hr steers 459kg 935

4 AA steers 532kg 980

10 Fr steers 495kg 910

5 AA heifers 471kg 910

5 BB heifers 470kg 935

1 Fr cow 620kg 1040

“We had an excellent trade for bullocks today,” mart manager Sean Leahy reported after Tuesdays cattle sale in Corrin.

Store bullocks in Corrin sold from €120 to €450 over the kilo, with forward stores making up to €630 over the kilo. Beef bullocks in Corrin sold up to €690 with the kilo.

Sean also reported a very strong trade for heifers and dry cows. Dry cows in Corrin mart sold from €550 to €1,350.

While in the heifer ring, store heifers made from €200 to €535 with their weight, with butchers’ heifers making up to a thumping €820 over the kilo.



No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Ch steers 669kg 1360

3 Hr steers 470kg 945

7 Fr steers 488kg 855

5 AA steers 680kg 1215

1 BB heifer 540kg 1365

5 Lm heifers 467kg 975

1 AA cow 770kg 1350

And finally for the week we turn to Kanturk

mart, also on Tuesday, and to Michael Scanlon who gave us this report.

“We had a very big sale of cattle at today’s sale. A large entry of bullocks met with a flying trade with forward stores in great demand. We had a large number of farmers at ringside with Hereford and Angus bullocks making over €500 over the kilo.”

Kanturk mart will also host a weanling show and sale on Tuesday next, October 7.



No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Hr steers 365kg 705

2 AA steers 400kg 770

4 Fr steers 600kg 910

2 BB heifers 570kg 1180

1 AA heifer 600kg 1000

3 Lm heifers 385kg 845

1 Fr cow 630kg 930


Louisa Earls is a manager at Books Upstairs, D’Olier St, Dublin, which is owned by her father, Maurice Earls.Virus response writes a new chapter for Books Upstairs

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