Farm Ireland

Monday 23 April 2018

Cattle marts: Breeding heifers and sucklers popular in very buoyant trading

Joe Healy

Heifers suitable for breeding were probably the best sellers over the past week, with some marts reporting prices for these types to be up by €10-15/hd. Suckler cows with a calf at foot were also selling very well.

Trade for steers and heifers were mainly steady but plainer types were meeting a tougher trade and prices reflected this. Weanlings remain firm.

Dowra Mart had 780 cattle on offer. Strong farmer buying and an increased number of Northern Ireland customers helped the trade. Bullocks over 600kg made from €300-450 over the weight while the good quality lighter stores met a very lively trade, making from €350-550 over. The best of the weanling bulls made from €300-450 over the €/kg. Plainer lots sold for €150-250 over.

In the heifer section, stores made €250-400 over with quality lots suitable for breeding making up to €650 over the weight.

Quality weanling heifers were selling for €250-400 over, while the plainer lots made from €150-250 over their weight.

The best of the young cull cows ranged from €100-300 over. Older cows made from €50 under, up to €50 with the weight. Good suckler cows with a calf at foot made from €1,200-1,800 with older lots making from €800-1,000/unit.

There was a good trade for weanlings at Balla mart due to the large presence of export buyers. Bull weanlings made from €280-520 over their weight. Prices for the heifers ranged from €260-485 over.

Last Saturday they had 1,110 head of cattle on offer. Overall, there is a very buoyant trade for all types of cattle at the moment. Prices for store bullocks were steady. Continental store bullocks were selling for €240-480 with the weight, while plainer lots made from €200-370 over.

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Prices for heifers, especially breeding and in-calf heifers were up €10-15/hd with local and midland farmers extremely keen. Heavy, fleshy types sold up to €630 over, with the stores selling from this back to €200 over the weight.

Dry cows were in great demand with the good quality cows making from €100-275 over. Suckler cows with a calf at foot made from €1,000-1,610 for the best of the lots on offer while older pairs made from €800-1,060 each. Northern customers and a smaller sale of stock helped trade at Ballinakill. Heavy steers made €320-450 with their weight. Forward stores sold for €250-520 over, while the lighter stores were running at around €60 less than those figures. Beef heifers were making €250-425 over the €/kg. Stores were selling for €180-400 over. Prices over the weight for the bull weanlings ranged from €220-400, with the heifers selling for €150-300 over.

Up in Raphoe, the best of the bulls over 600kgs made from €300-485 over the €/kg. Beef and store bullocks sold for €240-465 over the weight. Store heifers made €200-375 over, with the beefier types making €250-380 with their weight. Cull cow prices ranged from €520-920/hd.

Plain cattle were proving to be a tougher sell at Kilkenny Mart. Cattle born in 2008 were making €100/hd less than their 2009 counterparts. Cull cows were steady. The quality of weanlings was not as good as in recent weeks. Prices for the plainer types and all the heifer weanlings were back by €10-15/hd. Bulls over 400kgs made €1.55-1.78/kg or €300-420 over. Lighter continentals made up to €2.12/kg with two Charolais weighing 295kg each selling for €625 each. Some Friesian bulls sold for €1.57/kg.

Prices for lighter store bullocks ranged from €150-355 over the weight, with continentals selling for €1.90-2.22/kg. Heifers over 300-400kgs made €130-310/kg or €1.70-1.94/kg. Under 300kg continental heifers made €1.90-2.09/kg. AA types sold for around €1.58/kg.

Continental stores under 350kg were making €180-375 over their weight at Ballymote mart. Plainer stores weighing 350-500kg were making around €150 over the weight with the better quality steers making up to €420 over. The heifers were probably a stronger trade than the bullocks with the breeding types leading the way and selling for up to €835 over. Stores sold from €180-435 over the €/kg.

An improved trade saw continental weanling bulls sell for up to €420 with the weight. Plainer stock sold back to €150 over. The weanling heifers made from €180-460 over their weight, depending on quality.

Irish Independent