Prices plummet as rain takes toll on cattle trade
Poor ground conditions forcing farmers to sell for up to €90/hd less
Plain store cattle were back €70 to €90/hd in the marts this week as the atrocious weather conditions took its toll on the trade.
Friesian bullocks and beef animals out of the dairy herd bore the brunt of the price falls, with mart managers reporting significantly less bite for lower-quality stock.
Pressure is also being placed on factory prices following the poor weather, with some farmers reporting quotes as low as €3.70/kg for bullocks and €3.80/kg for heifers. However, there are no reports of deals being struck at those prices.
Huge turnouts were a feature of sales right around the country, with farmers forced to move cattle earlier than expected due to poor ground and grazing conditions.
Last week's heavy rains have finished the grazing season for farmers with heavy ground, and seriously curtailed grass supplies on better lands.
Uncertainty around fodder supplies has also persuaded farmers to sell poorer-quality stock that will take longer to finish, mart managers said.
Teagasc is advising farmers who may be under pressure for feed to sell non-essential stock now rather than hold animals.