Farm Ireland

Monday 23 April 2018

Cattle marts: Direct payments impact on sales

Joe Healy

The brisk trade remains for almost all categories of cattle at the marts, with most venues reporting an improvement in prices compared to the previous week.

This is especially the case for the better quality stock, whether they are forward store bullocks or heifers suitable for either breeding, killing or feeding. The advance of the single farm payment has helped farmers compete strongly for the good weanlings. Marts are also reporting a very keen trade for dairy heifers and cows, with the heifers generally making €1200-1400.

Balla Mart had 1,290 cattle on offer. Overall there was a very buoyant trade for all types of cattle. Prices for store bullocks were up €15-20/hd, with the heifers and more especially the breeding heifers up €30-40/hd mainly due to more buyers present from the midlands and the North competing with local farmers. The better store bullocks made from €260-575 over the weight, while plainer lots made from €200-370 over.

In the heifer ring, the best of the store heifers sold from €200-670 over. Dry cows were in great demand, with the good quality cows making from €100-420 over.

Good suckler cows with calves at foot made from €1,100-1,660. Older cows with calves made from upwards of €850/unit.

Prices were steady with a solid demand at Enniscorthy Mart. Heavy beef steers made €260-540 over. Store prices were €200-485 over the weight. Beef and butcher heifers were selling for €205-465 with the €1/kg with the store heifers making €185-385 over.

Depending on breed and condition, cull cows sold from €35 under the weight up to €320 over. They had a much larger entry of weanlings with 650 on offer.

Strong farmer demand for quality stock and a good export interest in the top quality Continentals led to a lively trade. Prices for the bulls ranged from €595 to €925 or €285-490 over their weight, with choice lots making up to €595 over. Heifer prices ranged from €425 to €815 or €215-395 over, with some choice heifers making up to €465 over.

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This week's weanling sale starts at 5pm on Thursday. The suck calves were improved by €10/hd. Continental bulls sold from €150 to €400. Prices for the Continental heifers ranged from €130-370. Friesian bulls made €95-195. The Hereford/AA bulls were selling for €110-265, with the heifers making €95-220.

Top class bulls over 600kgs were selling for €300-595 over the weight up in Raphoe. Beef bullocks made €330-525 over. The stores sold for €265-485 over the €1/kg.

Beef heifer prices were generally €250-530 over the weight, while the store heifers made €200-480 over. Dry cows ranged from €400-1240 each.

At Kilkenny Mart the quality male cattle continue to sell well but prices for the plainer stock was back by €10-15/hd. Demand was strong for good continental heifers and cull cows.

Irish Independent