Business Farming

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Friesian bull calf returns fall €10-40/hd

Caitriona Murphy

Published 23/01/2013 | 06:00

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Prices for Friesian bull calves have fallen by €10-40/hd compared to last year, mart sources report.

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An absence of calf exporters in the marts has been reflected in weaker prices for calves from the dairy herd.

Friesian bulls up to three weeks old sold for €110-140/hd, with older calves selling for up to €200-250/hd.

With farmers doing most of the buying, demand and prices for beef-type calves is said to be strong, albeit back a bit on 2012.

Prices of €270-350/hd have been paid for Hereford bulls and heifers, while Angus calves have sold for €220-300/hd.

The first of the Belgian Blue calves have sold for up to €450/hd and Charolais calves are also in demand at €450/hd.

Calf numbers are still low, with the real influx to the marts expected in the next fortnight.

Bandon Mart had 200 calves on offer this week, with prices of €110-140/hd paid for Friesian bulls of three weeks old and €140-200/hd paid for calves up to six weeks old. Older calves sold for €250-275/hd.

Mart manager Tom McCarthy said the prospect of the live trade to Libya re-opening had boosted demand for beef calves, with €270-350/hd paid for three- to four-week-old Herefords.

In Castleisland Mart, farmers paid €170-230/hd for six-week-old Friesian bulls, and up to €460 for Charolais calves, with a trickle of Belgian Blue calves selling for up to €450/hd.

In Thurles, farmers paid €80/hd and upwards for calves of less than a week old from the dairy herd, with the lowest prices paid for Norwegian Red and Jersey crosses.

Six-week-old dairy calves made up to €200/hd, while Angus heifers sold for €220-230/hd and bulls made up to €300/hd.

Twenty Friesian bulls were sold at Dungarvan Mart at prices of €160-285/hd for calves born in December. Fermoy Mart sold Friesian bulls at €110-250/hd for calves from two weeks to a month old.

In Kilmallock, strong demand from western and midland farmers resulted in prices of €240-260/hd for Friesian calves around a month old. However, even a nine-day-old Friesian bull made €225/hd.

Prices for beef calves were higher at €350/hd for five-week-old Hereford heifers and up to €530/hd for a month-old Belgian Blue.

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