Farm Ireland

Monday 19 February 2018

Lively trade at sales not halted by bad weather

Joe Healy

Weather has been the story of the past week and cattle marts didn't escape unscathed either. Sales yards all over the country were forced into cancelling their sales with farmers and buyers unable to travel.

In any event, as one manager put it, "it is impossible to ensure that all areas are safe for cattle and people in weather like this so the only sensible option has been to cancel and save the insurance company a few quid".

However, the sales that went ahead met with a very lively trade for the smaller numbers on offer. With beef finishers holding tough at the moment and refusing to move their cattle out of the sheds until factories significantly increase their prices, agents have been very keen for any well-fleshed cattle being sold at the marts.

At Ennis Mart, best demand was for beef animals with well-fleshed cows also much sought after. Despite the road conditions, they still had 539 cattle. Continental steers sold up to €630 over the weight. Heavy Hereford types made up to €510 over the €/kg, while lighter store Herefords were making €250-410 over.

Heavy continental heifers made €380-490 over. Those up to 450kg sold for €300-465 over their weight. Plainer heifers were selling from €280 over back to €180 over. The top price for cull cows was €1,300 paid for a charollais weighing 790kg.

There were many other extremely strong prices for heavy fleshy cows with €200-500 over the weight being paid.

Hereford and Friesian cows sold from €200 over back to €150 under the weight for cows in need of further feeding. Aged bulls made €315-360 over their weight.

Heifer prices at Maam Cross ranged from €1.69-1.95/kg with steers selling for €1.90-2.25/kg. Good demand saw the tops of the weanling bulls make up to €2.70/kg.

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The rest of the bulls sold from this down to €1.90/kg. Weanling heifers made €1.45-2.15/kg. Suckler cow prices ran from €675 up to a tops of €1,220. Cull cows sold for €455-995.

From Saturday, December 11, both the sheep and cattle sales will be held together with the sheep sale starting at 11am and the cattle sale at 12 noon.


Balla Mart had 525 weanlings at their sale. The strong prices throughout the season were maintained as export buyers had to compete with local and midland farmers. Prices for the lighter bull calves were up by €20-40/hd.

Overall, the bulls sold from €280-500 over their weight with the heifers selling for €150-340 over the €/kg. On Saturday, the weather resulted in only 210 cattle being offered for sale. Steer and heifer prices were steady. The bullocks made up to €619 over the weight.

The general run of quality stores were selling for €240-470 over the weight. Plainer lots selling back to €200 over. Heifer's sold from €200-590 over the weight with the best of the heavier heifers making up to €625 over.

Irish Independent