Farm Ireland

Sunday 19 November 2017

Returns slump as weather bites

Joe Healy

The severe cold and wet weather at the beginning of last week had a negative effect on supplies and, in some cases, prices as farmers without silage held back from buying for another week, at least in order to give the grass a chance.

In Kilkenny the plainer cattle proved harder to sell. However, the quality stores sold well, while a special sale for weanlings saw a top price of €440 with the weight.

Heavy continental cattle over 600kg made from €1.50-1.75/kg (€400-490) along with their weight, while plainer cattle sold for upwards of €240 over the €1/kg. Lighter quality Charolais and Limousin steers made from €1.75-1.96/kg, with one of the better prices (€1,005) paid for nine Charolais, each weighing 515kg. Poorer Friesian types sold for €1.10-1.20/kg, or up to €100 over.

Heavy heifers achieved from €240-400 with the weight, or €1.50-1.80/kg. Nice butcher heifers made €150-350 over the €1/kg, with a lot selling for €650-750/hd. Plain store heifers sold for as low as €60 over, while the better types made €150-335 over.

Prices for weanling bulls ranged from €250-440 along with the weight, while the heifers made €200-330 over. Suckler cows with calves sold for €700-1,100 each. Friesian cull cows sold from €150 under up to €125 over, while the Continental cows made €40-350 over the €1/kg.

Carnaross Mart had a smaller sale, where several part-time farmers bought and made up for the ones that had gone to Fairyhouse.

Store cattle were steady and showed very little change on last week as the plainer types proved a little tough to move on. Heavier cattle made up to €600 over the weight.

In Ennis on Thursday, bullocks were back around €20/hd as the plainer types met a very sticky trade. The 'in-between' cattle that needed another six to eight weeks to finish were the hardest hit.

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Heavy steers sold for €340-450 over. The heavy heifers made €150-400 along with the €1/kg, while the lighter plainer types sold for €150-250 over their weight. A few Friesian bullocks weighing 590kg sold for €840.

Suckler cows with calves at foot topped out at €1,550. The general price for the nicer cow was from €1,000 upwards, while the plainer and older types sold for €850-1,000.

Similar in-calf cows sold for €700-900, with a top price of €1,190 paid for a good Charolais cow due shortly. Heavy continental cull cows made €150-400 along with their weight, while the store cow sold for €100 under the weight up to the €1/kg. Dairy cows ranged from €1,000 up to €1,410/hd.

There wasn't as big a turnout of calves as usual in Castleisland Mart yesterday. Exporters were very active, where 90pc of the Friesian bulls bought for shipping ranged from €90-140, where the majority sold for €110-130.

Most of the Belgian Blue bull calves and the majority of the heifers were also going on the ship. The bulls made €320-400 and the heifers attracted prices of €230-300. The Hereford, Angus, Simmental and Limousin bull calves for the home trade made €200-320, with the heifers in a range of €130-200.

Irish Independent

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