Farm Ireland

Friday 20 April 2018

Buyers are keen to snap up cows and heifers for breeding

Over-quota dairy farmers buy up extra suck calves

Joe Healy

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.

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.

Indo Farming