Prices strong for breeding stock

Joe Healy

Prices for the falling number of breeding stock remain quite strong. Good ewe lambs, especially those that are fit to be let off with the ram, are attracting lots of interest from farmers. Farmers are also very active for store lambs, while the heavier lambs were, for the most part, steady, with prices up slightly in a few marts. Fleshy cull ewes are easily commanding prices in excess of €100/hd.

Heavy lambs of more than 50kg in Athenry yesterday made €46-51 over the weight. The factory types made €40-45 over. Ewe lambs sold up to €57 over the €1/kg, with €105 paid for a pen weighing 48kg.

Tullow Mart had 2,235 sheep on offer. Factory and butcher lambs were up €1/hd and sold for €42-50 over for prices of €84-100/hd. Stores also had a strong trade at €32-44 over the weight. Good ewe lambs sold up to €126/hd while the rest sold from this back to €90/hd. Ewe hoggets made €125-150. Older breeders ran from €90-135 and the culls sold from €45-105.

On Saturday at Maam Cross, mountain breeding ewes sold for €60-95, while mountain ewe hoggets made €80-130. Hill ewe lambs made €50-83, while the general run for the wethers was €35-54/hd. Crossbred lambs sold for €48-86 and prices for cull ewes varied from €38-63.

Wexford Farmers Mart had a large entry of 2,530 sheep. Prices were improved for all classes, especially for the store lambs, which sold for €35-48 over the €1/kg. Selling at €39-49 over, the factory and heavier types made €85-101/hd. Active farmer interest drove prices for the ewe lambs to €82-123. Hogget ewes made €129-158, while aged ewes for breeding made €84-129. Cull ewes sold for €46-115. Prices for pedigree rams ran from €225-445/hd, while the commercial rams sold for €165-325.

Factory and butchers' lambs met a similar trade to last week in Mountbellew but there was increased demand for ewe lambs and store lambs. Breeding ewes and hogget ewes remained firm. Trade for the stag ewes continued strong.

In the lamb section, a top price of €122/hd was paid for a pen of 50kg ewes. The general run for the rest of the lambs between 40-50kg was €40-46 over. Lighter types made €37-42 with their weight.

Prices ranged from €58-118/hd for the cull ewes. First-crop ewes suitable for breeding made €120-161/hd, second crops sold for €100-142/hd and the older ewes sold for €110 downwards. Ewe hoggets made €132-166/hd.

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