Farm Ireland

Sunday 18 March 2018

Cold snap means open marts do roaring trade

Joe Healy

With numerous marts around the country cancelling their sales over the past week, a lot of the factories and their agents have been actively calling farmers who they know have lambs to sell.

The marts that did go ahead reported that supplies didn't match demand with a very strong trade all round as a result. Heavy 50+kg lambs commanded extremely good prices.

Mountain ewes for breeding sold for €60-70/hd at Maam Cross mart last Saturday.

Prices for the mountain ewe hoggets ranged from €90-120 each. Cross bred lambs made €48-90 while the mountain lambs were selling for €40-80/hd.

Tuam mart reported that old heavy cull ewes sold to a high of €140. Well-fleshed lambs made €50-56 over the weight while store types made up to €50 over.

Kanturk reported an extremely strong demand with the heavy lamb making from €60-65 over the weight. One pen of quality lambs weighing 55kgs sold for €120. The 40-48kg lambs were selling for €50-55 over while the lighter store type lambs made up to €50 with their weight. Heavy ewes sold to €100. Plainer lighter culls were selling back to €60-70/hd.

Quality lots made up to €70 over the weight at Kilkenny mart with €117 paid for 47kgs. Most of the better type lambs were making €62-69 over. Store lambs 35-40kgs made €45-50 over the €/kg. Prices for cull ewes ranged between €70-110.

Prices probably didn't match high expectations at Athenry mart despite it still being a strong trade. The heavy lambs over 50kgs made €52-60 with their weight. Weights of 44-50kgs made €48-55 over with the store lambs selling for €42-50 over the €/kg.

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It is a sign of the good year sheep farmers have enjoyed when you see a farmer refusing to sell cull ewes at €120/hd. Prices taken generally ran from €70-106.

Irish Independent