Farm Ireland

Monday 22 January 2018

Mart prices for breeding stock strengthen

Joe Healy

With the breeding season fast approaching, the ewe hogget and breeding ewe trade has continued to go from strength to strength.

A renewed enthusiasm is obvious among the sheep farmers after the past 10 months of lamb prices being where they need to and should be. The lamb trade also improved a bit on the previous week while the cull ewe remained steady.

Wexford Farmers' Mart reported stronger demand for all classes of sheep on Wednesday last, with many more customers especially for store lambs. Butcher and factory lambs sold from €81-98/hd, which equated to €41-49 over the €1/kg.

Store lambs sold from €67 to €78/hd, or €33-42 over. Prices for cast ewes ran from €48 up to a top of €111/hd. There were plenty of customers for hogget ewes, with prices of €120-160/hd paid by farmers anxious to replenish their breeding flocks. Older ewes suitable for breeding made from €88-136/hd.

The first of the pedigree rams sold for €215-495/hd, while commercial rams made €180-325/hd.

Mountbellew had a very large number of sheep on offer on Saturday with increased numbers of lambs, stag ewes and breeding ewes. Store lambs and stag ewes met with a brisk trade. There were some very good prices for quality lots of ewe lambs and breeding ewes. Lambs in the 42-52kg weight bracket made €36-46 along with the €/kg. Store lambs ranged in price from €65 to €83/hd.

Good demand for the cull ewes, especially for heavier lots, saw prices range from €70 to €128/hd.

Hogget ewes ranged in price from €121 to €144/hd. First-crop ewes sold from €100 to €128/hd, second-crop ewes made €85-121/hd and third-crop ewes sold for €75-96/hd.

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There was improved trade and numbers at Baltinglass Mart as lambs up to 40kg made €37 to €44 over the €1/kg. Those from 45-50kg made €40-47 over.

Ewe lambs sold up to €95/hd. Stores made €30-37 over the €1/kg. Ewe hoggets made €120-140/hd, while three- and four-year-old varieties made €80-100/hd. Cast ewes made €80 to €110/hd.

The Baltinglass Ewe Breeders' Annual Show and Sale is at Baltinglass Mart on Saturday, August 7.

The heavy, butcher-type lambs sold for €40-48 with the €1/kg in Ballinakill Mart. Factory lambs made €38-45 over.

Yesterday saw an extremely large sale at Athenry Mart, with nice ewe lambs a great trade that made up to €50 along with the €1/kg.

Lambs weighing 45-50kg made €42-47 over, with a top price of €107 paid for a pen of heavy lambs weighing 57kg.

Carnew mart manger David Quinn said store lambs generally made €30-45 over the weight, with up to €45 and even €50 over being paid for nice ewe lambs.

"Last year, €30 over the weight would have been the talk of the country," said Mr Quinn. "It's tremendous to see the hardcore mid-season lamb producers get a bite of the cherry."

Heavy cull ewes sold for €90-125/hd at Carnew, while very light ewes sold for more than €50/hd.

Irish Independent