Farm Ireland

Saturday 16 December 2017

Cattle marts: Forward stores lead way at sales

Joe Healy

Cattle prices rose by up to €40/hd again this week as excellent grass-growing conditions, coupled with a rise in beef prices, boosted the feel-good factor among farmers.

Forward stores continued to be the best sellers, with quality lots freely making in excess of €2/kg. Dairy stock also met with strong demand, as did suck calves, regardless of breed or sex.

Calved dairy heifers made €1,150-1,550/hd in Enniscorthy, while cows in milk sold for €900-1,350/hd. In-calf cows made €800-1,150 and bulling heifers sold for €600-880. Suckler cows with calves at foot reached €1,550-2,000.

Heavy continental steers ranged from €1.70-2.09/kg at Kilkenny Mart in one of its liveliest sales to date. Forward stores made €1.80-2.21/kg, with the lighter types selling for €1.80-2.35. Hereford and Angus lots made around €1.50/kg.

Balla Mart reported an exceptional trade for bullocks on Saturday, where there were 948 cattle on offer. Store bullocks were up €20-40/hd on the previous week, and sold for €300-745 over the weight. The best of the store heifers made €420-700 over.

Ballinakill had 600 on offer for what was described as its best trade of the year. Beef steers made €1.80-2.22/kg, while stores sold for €1.60-2.57/kg, depending on breed and quality.

Store heifers at Dowra Mart made €300-550 over the weight, while heifers for breeding made €600-800 over. Weanling heifers made €250-500 over and a few fancy lots made up to €700 over.

At Ballymote Mart, bullocks under 400kg sold for €250-530 over, while lots of 400-500kg made €300-670 over.

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