Farm Ireland

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Buyers are keen to snap up cows and heifers for breeding

Over-quota dairy farmers buy up extra suck calves

Joe Healy

Published 18/10/2011 | 05:00

Exporters, Northern Ireland farmers, local farmers, finishers and suckler farmers have been keen to snap up suitable cows or heifers for breeding in the past week.

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Good heifers made from €2.00-2.30/kg with plainer lots making €1.65-1.90/kg. Heavy continental steers sold for €1.80-2.30/kg, while stores made €1.70-2.50/kg. The top weanlings made up to and over €3/kg, with good Continental bulls making €2.20-2.50/kg and plainer bulls making €1.70-2.00/kg. It was a similar story for heifer weanlings -- better heifers made €1.90-2.40/kg.

With over-quota dairy farmers snapping up any extra calves to drink excess milk, suck calves are both scarce and dear. Friesian bulls are making €100-250. Continental bull calves are selling from €250-450 with the heifers making €200-400 each. Good young suckler cows in-calf and with a calf at foot are selling from €1,400-2,000/unit.

Ballinakill had more than 500 cattle on offer, with a strong trade all round but particularly for fancy store bullocks. Heavy steers sold for €1.85-2.35/kg, with the forward stores making €1.77-2.45/kg. Lighter stores sold for €1.90-2.70/kg. Beef type heifers made €1.85-2.28/kg. Stores traded at €1.72-2.20/kg. Weanling heifers sold for €1.75-2.10/kg, while bulls made €1.95-2.48/kg. Prices for cull cows made €1.25-1.75/kg.

Carnew reported a bigger than normal weanling sale, with 650 on offer. Strong demand from exporters and farmers ensured a lively trade. Lighter weanling bulls sold for €2.30-3.10/kg or €350-770 over their weight. Heavier lots made €2.10-2.60/kg or €420-850 with the weight. Heavy weanling heifers sold for €1.90-2.40/kg, while lighter types sold for €2.40-3.00/kg.

The trade for the steers was a little better than for the heifers, with beef and forward store bullocks were making from €450-900 over the weight. Lighter stores moved at €350-720 over. Well fleshed heifers made €450-800 over the €/kg while stores sold for €300-700 over.

Dowra Mart had 970 cattle on offer, where trade continued very strong for all classes. Store bullocks over 550kg made from €500-800 with the weight while lighter stores sold for €450-750 over the €/kg. Weanling bulls over 500kg sold for €400-650 over the weight, with a few choice lots making up to €900 over. Lighter types sold for €300-650 over. Heifers above 500kg made €400-650 over, while a few lots for breeding making up to €850 over.

Despite poor weather and difficult ground conditions, the trade for cattle remained buoyant at Ballymote Mart. Bullocks over 600kg sold for €735-850 over. Continental steers 400-600kg sold for €535-720 over their weight. Lighter lots made €395-530 over. Heavy heifers sold from €500-570 over the €/kg. The 400-600kg lots made €490-740 over the weight with the 300-400kg types selling for €100-370 over.

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The weanling sale attracted a good attendance of export buyers for the Italian trade present helped maintain the recent very strong trade especially for the large entry of bulls. Heavy lots over 400kgs sold for €480-555, with the better lots making €2-2.25/kg.

Top class bulls over 600kg were selling for €430-945 over the weight up in Raphoe. Beef bullocks made €425-810 over the weight. Stores made €260-700 over the €/kg. Well fleshed heifers sold for €290-690 with the weight. Stores moved at €260-615 over. Good cull cows made up to €1,580 with store culls selling back to €500.

Prices remained solid at Balla Mart, where more than 2,000 animals were sold. Steers averaged €2.07-2.57/kg. Heifers made from €1.42-2.72/kg. The average price of cattle was €224.68/hd up on last year while the weanlings were €88/hd up on last year.

Good quality heavy bullocks made double their weight, selling for €2-2.24/kg or €710-995 with their weight, while forward stores made from €2.13-2.57/kg or €490-670 with their weight.

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