Pedigree dairy heifers sell for up to €1,600 as demand surges
Calved dairy heifers are a strong trade and fancy prices are being paid for both pedigree and fancy commercial stock despite the recent milk price cuts.
Good quality pedigree heifers sold from €1,400 to €1,600 a head in Bandon Mart, while €1,350 to €1,520 a head was paid in Kilmallock Mart for high EBI heifers.
Denis Kirby of Kilmallock Mart said demand for dairy stock had strengthened on the back of the recent improvement in the weather. He said the bulk of the buyers were local farmers.
It was a similar story in Bandon where Tom McCarthy said the vast majority of the buyers for calved heifers were dairy farmers looking for "twos and threes". Mr McCarthy said the continued strength of the cull cow trade has helped keep a floor on the calved heifer market.
He pointed out that cows out of the parlour were freely making €600 or €700 a head, with cows weighing 650-700kgs selling for close to €1,000.
Mr McCarthy claimed there was no great demand for in-calf heifers, however, he said there was a lively trade for maiden heifers.
He said farmers were looking for stock that weighed around 350kg and was "ready for the bull". Heifers fit for service generally made around €700-750/hd, Mr McCarthy said. Lighter heifers being sold off farm are reported to be making around €650 a head.