Farm Ireland

Tuesday 21 November 2017

Numbers and prices down as hay and silage demands take priority

Joe Healy

Fewer farmers were willing to spend time at marts over the past week as hay and silage took priority. As a result, both numbers and prices were down across the country.

Trade was reported as varying from steady to back a little. The downward pressure from the factories on prices was also noticeable. Beef cattle generally moved at €2-2.50/kg. Quality stores and weanlings were making from €2.20-2.60/kg, with plainer types ranging from €1.50/kg to €2/kg. Prices of €1,000-1,500 continue to buy most of the suckler cows with a calf at foot. It was taking a very good cull cow to make more than €2/kg,, while store cows sold back to a euro/kg.

The excellent weather affected numbers in Ballinakill where only 280hd were offered for sale. Forward bullocks and heifers met a brisk trade. The lighter cattle were similar to the previous week. Demand was keen for the cull cows, especially the finished lots, with prices varying from €1.20-1.80/kg. Heavy bullocks were selling for €2.10-2.70/kg. Forward stores sold for €2.00-2.80/kg. Lighter stores made from €1.80-2.90/kg. Beef heifers were making from €1.70-2.60/kg. Stores sold for €1.60-2.00/kg. Weanling bulls moved at €1.90-2.60/kg. The heifers made €1.60-2.20/kg.

At Kilkenny Mart the trade was slightly back on the highs of the previous week for the 830 cattle offered for sale. Friesian steers were down by €10-20/hd. Cull cows met with a slower demand. Continental bullocks over 600kg were selling from €2.10-2.50/kg in general. The 500-600kg steers ranged from €1.70-2.70/kg with the lighter types moving at €1.40-2.90/kg. Beef heifers were making from €1.90-2.40/kg or €480-800 with their weight. Butcher heifers ranged from €1.90-2.20/kg. Stores made from €1.80-2.40/kg. Suckler cows with a calf at foot varied from €1,000-1,820 while in-calf cows sold for €900-1,250. Continental cull cows were making from €1.30-2.10/kg with Friesians selling for €1.00-1.70/kg.

The heavy continental steers more than 550kg were making from €2.09-2.53/kg at Tuam Mart. The 400-500kg lots sold for €1.85-2.36/kg. Continental heifers more than 550kg made from €2.11-2.39/kg. Heifers between 300-500kg made from €2.03-2.39/kg. Cull cows upwards of 570kg ranged from €1.49-2.11/kg.

In Tullow, the quality cattle out of the 300 on offer maintained a strong trade. Cull cows sold up to a tops of €1,730 or from €1.80-2.15/kg with Friesian types ranging from €1.10-1.90/Kg. Beef steers made from €2.10-2.45/kg. Continental stores sold for €1.90-2.40/kg while Friesian steers ranged from €1.10-1.70/kg. Well-fleshed heifers were selling for €1.80-2.50/kg. Store heifers made from €1.70-2.40/kg. Sucklers with a calf sold for €1,380-1,590/unit.

Cattle numbers were smaller at Dowra Mart on Saturday last and trade was quieter for most classes of cattle on the day. The best trade was for the forward store heifers more than 500kg that made from €2.20-2.70/kg. Lighter stores and heifer weanlings were a tougher trade and made from €1.70-2.50/kg. Cull cows also met an easier trade. The better lots sold from €1.60-2.10/kg, with older feeding cows making from €1.00-1.60/kg.

Balla Mart had 656 head of stock on offer. Trade was reported as steady with a slightly improved demand for forward store heifers. Prices varied from €1.72-2.50/kg. Heavy steers were selling for €1.82-2.68/kg while lighter types made from €1.58-2.65/kg. A five-year-old Limousin cow and Belgian Blue heifer calf at foot topped the suckler section at €1,990. The best cull cow, a five year-old old Charolais cow weighing 810kg, hit a high of €1,600.

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Heavy weanling bulls more than 350kg made from €1.51-2.56/kg. Lighter lots sold from €2.18-2.43/kg.

Carnew had a good entry of 650 cattle for sale. Beef and forward store bullocks met a firm demand and were selling for €650-1,010 with their weight. Lighter stores made from €280-850 over. Weanling bulls were making from €350-850 with the €/kg. Fleshed heifers sold for €550-930 over the weight. Stores moved at €250-650 with the weight. Cull cows made from €150-850 over.

Bullocks under 400kg at Ballymote Mart were making from €250-420 over their weight. Lots more than 400kg made from €300-550 over. Light heifers under 400kg were selling for €200-300 over. Heavier types made from €400-590 over. Backward Friesian cull cows sold from €70 under up to €210 over the €/kg. Fleshed cows up to €770 with their weight.

Weanling Bulls under 400kg were making from €250-400 over the weight. Lots more than 400kg made from €400-500 over.

There was a good trade for quality heifers at Mayo/Sligo Mart with Continentals making from €2.20-2.49/kg. Weanlings made up to €2.24/kg. Fleshed cull cows over 650kg topped out at €1.93/kg. Cows with a calf at foot sold up to €1,950.

In Maam Cross, the suckler cows ranged from €1,300-1,480 while prices for cull cows ran from €940-1,235. Steers were making from €1.90-2.73/kg. Heifers made from €1.25-2.85/kg. Weanlings moved at €1.75-2.65/kg.

Irish Independent