Farm Ireland

Tuesday 20 March 2018

Heavy heifers fare best in a week of mixed fortunes at the marts

Joe Healy

A quick glance at Ringside will give you a picture of pretty mixed fortunes for the different categories at the marts over the past week. Overall, the heavy heifers fared best, showing an improvement of between 11-22c/kg.

On the flip side, the weanling heifers had a tough week and endured slippage of between 8-26c/kg. Heavy bull weanlings and the store heifers of 400-600kg were back by 6-8c/kg. Light bullocks sold well and were up by 8-9c/kg at €2.50-3.15/kg.

The aforementioned 400-600kg lots made from €2.25-2.80/kg, while the heavier types moved at €2.20-2.55/kg. Plainer lots ranged from €1.85-2.00/kg. The majority of the heifers were sold between €2.30-2.90/kg, with the poorer lots selling for €2.00-2.20/kg.

Light bulls under 300kg were up by 6-10c/kg at €2.60-3.30/kg. Heavier types moved in the opposite direction showing a drop of 2-8c/kg and selling for €2.30-3.00/kg. Lesser lots made from €1.90-2.00/kg.

As I mentioned already, the big losers were the weanling heifers. Despite making from €2.80-3.30/kg the lighter types were down by 12-16/kg. An 8-20c/kg drop left the 300-400kg lots selling for €2.60-3.10/kg, while an even greater fall left the heavier heifer weanlings at €2.40-2.80/kg. The plain types made from €2.05-2.45/kg. The suck-calf trade is holding well with prices similar to previous weeks. A range from €1,000-1,500/hd is buying most of the dairy cows being offered for sale.

Ennis had a big sale with 1,062 head on offer. Trade was a shade easier for the heavier weanlings, but the trade for the lighter stock remains very strong. Dairy cows generally made from €1,020-1,500. Top quality suckler cows with a strong calf at foot topped out at €2,750. In-calf cows sold to €1,720. In the calf ring, the Friesian bulls made up to €250 but mainly sold for €100-150. Continental bull calves peaked at €640 and heifers at €480.

Suck calf numbers were a bit smaller in Kilrush. Trade was stable. Friesian bull calves made from €107-230. Continental heifers sold to a tops of €390.

Dowra reported a very strong trade for the 630hd on offer last Saturday, with the heifer weanlings under 300kg making from €2.10-3.80/kg. Heifers from 300-400kg made from €1.90-3.35/kg, while heavier lots sold for €2.00-3.00/kg. Weanling bulls under 300kg were selling for €2.20-4.00/kg. Lots between 300-400kg made from €2.00-3.50/kg and the 400-500kg from €2.20-2.70/kg. Store bullocks under 550kg moved at €1.90-3.20/kg. Heavier types ranged from €1.90-2.70/kg. Cull cows were also in keen demand, with young fit cows making from €2.00-2.45/kg and store cows from €1.30-2.10/kg.

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Carnew had 1,250 cattle and 180 calves on offer and reported a very strong trade for all classes with exceptional demand for weanlings suitable for export. Beef and forward store bullocks made from €750-1,160 with their weight. Lighter stores sold for €550-900 over the €/kg. Friesian steers made from €300-700 over. Beef heifers were selling for €600-1,100 with the weight, while the stores moved at €450-850 over. The weanling bulls sold for €500-1,050 with their weight.

In the suck calf ring, the Friesian bulls were making from €60-245/hd. Continental bulls made from €250-500 and the heifers from €150-450. Hereford and Angus bull calf prices ranged from €220-415, while the heifers made from €160-435.

Balla mart described their sale as 'big and dear'. Store bullocks up to 400kg were making from €600-940 with their weight, or from €1.40-3.72/kg. Heavier lots made from €1.62-3.00/kg. Light heifers were selling for €1.79-3.74/kg. Heifers over 400kg sold for €1.76-3.43 p/kg. In the weanling section, the light bulls were selling for €1.88-3.86/kg and the heavier types for €1.34-3.66/kg. The heifer weanlings met very strong demand especially lots suitable for breeding. Prices ranged from €2.00-4.44/kg for the lighter lots and from €2.30-3.40/kg for the heavier types. Cull cows topped out at €2,095 which was paid for a 5yr old 960kg Simmental cross cow. The tops in the sucklers was €2,200 for a four year-old Limousin cow with a Limousin bull calf at foot.

Cull cows were making from €1.35-2.54/kg at Maam Cross mart. Sucklers with a calf at foot sold for prices of €1,110-1,640/unit. Heifers made from 2.60-3.65/kg and bullocks from €2.18-4.08/kg.


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