Dairy farmers driving booming Angus trade
Published 22/04/2015 | 02:30
Dairy farmers are driving demand for Angus bulls this spring, and some very fancy prices for the sires have been paid as a consequence.
There was a brisk trade for Angus bulls at a recent inter-breed bull sale in Kilkenny Mart, with stock selling for €2,000 to €3,900/hd.
Auctioneer George Candler said the Angus appeared to be the sire of choice for dairy farmers at the moment, both for replacement heifers and to act as a 'sweeper' for older cows.
He said that ease of calving and rearing, general hardiness and the short gestation period for Angus calves meant they were ideally suited to expanding dairy operations.
Mr Candler said Hereford bulls were also proving popular with dairy farmers, with good demand at the Kilkenny sale resulting in prices ranging from €2,100/hd to €4,600/hd.
The increased usage of both Angus and Hereford sires in the dairy herd was borne out in ICBF figures for calf births this spring.
Data for January and February showed that the number of Angus-sired calves rose by 43pc to almost 60,000 calves. Hereford births were up 44pc.
At the Kilkenny sale, Friesian bulls sold for €1,750 to €4,100, with Charolais bulls selling for €2,000 to €3,100. Limousins made from €1,850 to €3,500, while Simmentals sold for €2,450 to €2,800.
Just two Parthenais bulls were sold on the day, both made €2,800.
Meanwhile, Mr Candler also handled a Limousin Society bull sale in Athenry Mart last week. The bulk of the bulls made between €2,700 to €3,000, but up to €4,300 was paid.
Irish Angus Society PRO, Aidan Moloney, said this year's strong dairy farmer demand had been expected.
Mr Moloney said there had been a lively trade for Angus sires from dairy farmers for the last few years and this spring was a continuation of that trend.
However, he said the better overall demand had not been reflected in stronger prices. He said the average price for Angus bulls at a recent sale in Kilmallock had just been €100/hd higher than 2014 at €2,100/hd.