In fond memory of Terry Wogan, legend among mart reporters

Not many people know this, but the late Terry Wogan began his broadcasting career on RTE radio dishing out the cattle mart report.

So ’tis no wonder then that he went on to conquer the broadcasting world.

If a man can make a hand of the complex mart game, and convince the farming community he knows what he’s doing, he’s capable of anything.

But even the smooth talking Terry found the mart reporting task difficult, a fact he mentioned in his autobiography Is it me? — “How I choked my way to the end of the fat-stock prices, I will never know,” he wrote.

So it’s no wonder then that by the Tuesday and Wednesday of each week I can be seen pulling the hair from my head in frustration as I attempt to make sense of the mart trade.

If Terry Wogan, a master of all trades, found it difficult, imagine how daunting it can be for an old bluffer like me.

Tis only from lots of prayers and strong drink that I eventually get through the ordeal.

Anyway we will proceed, as best we can, and head straight to our friends in Kanturk, where Kanturk mart manager Seamus O’Keeffe gave us the following report after Tuesday’s cattle sale.

“On Tuesday we had 420 animals on offer, including 60 calves and 80 dry cows. Our calf ring opened on Tuesday to very dear calves, with farmers buying 60% of the calves that we had on offer.

In the main ring dry cows were very much in demand with top prices paid for feeding cows.”

Kanturk

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Fr steers 645kg 1130

1 Hr steer 525kg 1010

2 AA steers 510kg 960

1 BB steer 360kg 870

1 AA heifer 595kg 1175

1 Lm heifer 535kg 1060

1 AA cow 695kg 1210

And next we head to Bandon where calf numbers still remain tight, (Bandon had 302 calves on offer on Monday) so, as you might expect, demand was strong particularly for the Friesian bull.

Bandon mart on Monday had over 100 dry cows on offer and here they made from €1/kg to €530 with the kilo. Friesian bullocks sold from €230 to €500 with their weight. While Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks sold from €375 to €565 with the kilo.

Heifers in Bandon made from €350 to €600 with the kilo, with some exceptional heifers making over €900 with their weight.

Bandon

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Hr steer 505kg 970

4 AA steers 350kg 725

2 Fr steers 662kg 1170

4 Fr steers 291kg 530

1 Lm heifer 615kg 1250

2 Ch heifers 810kg 1750

1 Fr cow 700kg 1230

The first day of Spring saw a “flying trade for cattle and calves” at Kilmallock Mart last Monday, according to Denis Kirby. In excess of 1,000 stock were on offer with 227 buyers at the Limerick venue doing business.

“The market for young calves has got off on a very positive start,” Denis added, with young calves hitting €500 a head in Kilmallock.

On next Monday February 8, their calf sale will commence at 10am sharp.

Bullocks in Kilmallock made up to €2.51 per kg. Heifers sold to a high of €3.00 per kg. Dry cows hit €2.05 per kg. Weanling bulls sold for up €3.30 per kg. Dairy stock made up to €1,460 a head (paid for a two-year-old calved heifer). While suckler stock hit €1,620 (paid for a three-year-old Simmental and her Limousin heifer calf).

Kilmallock

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 Sim steers 385kg 900

1 Fr steer 390kg 835

8 Hr steers 314kg 715

6 AA steers 330kg 700

3 Ch heifers 498kg 1100

1 AA heifer 490kg 1025

1 Hr heifer 485kg 1010

Next we go to Dungarvan mart, also held on Monday, and to mart manger Ger Flynn who gave us the following details on the cattle sale. “We had a good steady trade all round for all types of forward store. There was a good demand for forward dry cows also.”

Dungarvan

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Fr steers 607kg 1055

2 Fr steers 597kg 1040

3 Ch steers 450g 1000

3 AA heifers 455kg 880

3 AA heifers 400kg 800

1 Fr cow 890kg 1310

1 Sim cow 680kg 1005

January was a quiet month with regards to cattle movement through the marts.

And this wasn’t too surprising, as most farms have plenty of fodder and sellers were happy to wait it out and plump up their stock before their day of reckoning at the mart.

However, now with February upon us and the start of spring, perhaps cattle are finally starting to move. Mart manager Martin Ryan gave us this report after the cattle sale in Thurles last Monday. “We had a big lift in numbers on Monday, with bullock prices perhaps a little quieter, due to the bigger numbers.

“There was a remarkably strong trade for calves. With all other categories also meeting a good strong trade.”

Thurles

Monday

No Breed Sex Weight €

5 Lm steers 496kg 1150

3 AA steers 316kg 685

6 Hr steers 537kg 1150

10 Fr steers 422kg 805

2 Ch steers 517kg 1180

3 AA heifers 236kg 540

4 Ch heifers 539kg 1140

Donald Trump certainly got a nasty shock at the start of the week when he failed to do the business in Iowa. The man who hates losers, actually turned out to be one himself.

Ryan Tubridy on his radio show on Tuesday morning mentioned that there could well be a “smell” off the Trump presidential campaign now after the defeat.

And speaking of smells, turning to my calves many of course will be wondering how I’m coping after last week’s purchase of calves at the mart. Am I coping at all? How many times has the vet called? Has that infamous truck from Limerick been spotted on the farm?

Well the fact of the matter is, I’m doing fine. I’m using copious amounts of milk replacer every day as I gallop merrily with buckets swinging from one lot of hungry calves to the other.

I will probably have the arms of Schwarzenegger and the back of Quasimodo by the time the calves are reared, but that’s OK too.

For, unlike Trump, while the smell from a calf’s house can be bad at times, at least I don’t smell that awful stench of defeat.

And so on we brazenly march to Corrin where on Tuesday last the mart had 500 cattle on offer with mart manager Sean Leahy reporting a “very strong trade for bullocks.” Sean also reported, “a lively trade for dry cows.”

In Corrin store bullocks sold from €225 to €480 over the kilo, with forward bullocks making up to €690 with their weight.

Store heifers in Corrin made up to €480 over, with butcher types making up to €750 with the kilo.

Dry cows here sold from €450 to €1,230 a head.

Corrin

Tuesday

No Breed Sex Weight €

3 Lm steers 693kg 1385

2 Hr steers 510kg 1115

5 AA steers 390kg 870

1 Ch heifer 515kg 1045

1 Sim heifer 580kg 1110

1 Lm heifer 555kg 1300

1 Fr cow 860kg 1230

“We had a great trade for all types of stock once again on Saturday. We had an increase in calf numbers which was met with plenty of demand at ring side,” was the report we received from mart manager John O’Mahony after Saturday’s cattle sale in Macroom.

In Macroom on Saturday dry cows sold from €90 under to €545 over the kilo. Bullocks in Macroom sold from €210 to €640 over their weight. Heifers in Macroom sold from €215 to €620 with the kilo.

Macroom

Saturday

No Breed Sex Weight €

2 AA steers 545kg 1105

1 BB steer 500kg 1110

2 Ch steers 425kg 1060

6 Hr steers 315kg 755

1 AA heifer 590kg 1210

1 Fr cow 785kg 1330

1 Fr cow 650kg 1130

And finally for this week we head to Skibbereen, where mart manager Tom McCarthy also reported “a pick up” in numbers of stock at last Friday’s sale.

In Skibbereen dry cows sold from €150 under to €600 with the kilo. Bullocks sold from €300 to €700 with the kilo. Heifers ranged in price from €300 to €615 with the kilo. Suckler stock in Skibbereen sold from €1,180 to €1,500.

Skibbereen

Friday

No Breed Sex Weight €

1 Au steer 500kg 1190

2 Lm steers 360kg 820

2 Hr steers 325kg 700

2 AA heifers 605kg 1220

1 Lm heifer 350kg 840

1 Fr cow 755kg 1300

1 BB cow 745kg 1350


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