Farm Ireland

Saturday 20 January 2018

Rising interest in suckler cows brings about price boost for quality animals

Joe Healy

Beef animals remain a strong trade at the marts and there was quite a bit of interest in suckler cows last week, resulting in good prices for quality animals.

Beef and forward store animals enjoyed the best of the trade at Kilkenny Mart. Light Friesians and bulls were the poorest sellers, but there was better demand for good British Friesian types. Heavy steers sold for €2.16-2.78/kg. Good quality Friesians made up to €2.02/kg. Forward stores sold for €2.00-2.61/kg, with lighter types making from €1.40-2.97/kg. In the heifer section, heavy factory lots made €2.25-2.65/kg, while butcher types sold for €1.80-2.45/kg. Stores moved at €1.55-3.00/kg. Suckler cows were scarce in number and they sold for €1,260-1,520. Continental cull cows made €1.40-2.25/kg and Friesian culls made €1.10-2.05/kg.

Ballinakill had a smaller sale of 400 cattle on offer. Heavy bullocks made €2.25-2.80/kg. Forward stores sold for €2.10-2.84/kg. Lighter lots sold for €1.80-3.00/kg. Beef heifers sold for €1.90-2.65/kg. Stores made €1.70-2.30/kg. In the weanling ring, bulls sold for €1.80-2.60/kg with heifers moving at €1.60-2.30/kg. Cull cow prices ran from €1.35/kg to €2/kg.

Forward store bullocks and heifers and heavy cull cows were the best sellers at Ballymote Mart. Stores of 400-500kg made from €500-590 over and heavier types sold up to a high of €1,410 over the €/kg.

Heifers up to 400kg made €175-500 over their weight. Suckler cows with calves at foot sold for €1,100-1,300/unit. Cull cows sold for €150-700 with the €/kg.

Heavier bulls sold for €360-600 over. Weanling heifers of 300-400kg made €200-335 with the weight.

The trade was improved at Dowra Mart last Saturday, especially for lighter cattle. Weanling heifers made €1.80-2.80/kg, with store heifers making €2.20-2.70/kg. Forward store bullocks sold for €1.80-2.70/kg. Heavy weanling bulls made up to €2.90/kg and lighter lots sold for €1.90-2.90/kg. Heavy cows continued to meet a very strong demand and they made €1.80-2.30/kg. Feeding cows sold for €1.00-1.70/kg. Young cows with calves at foot made €1,400-1,840/unit.

Balla Mart had 936 cattle for sale, with a better trade and good demand, even for plainer types. Prices for heifers rose by €20/hd. Heavy bullocks sold for €1.90-3.07/kg, while lighter types made €1.94-3.24/kg.

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Heifers under 400kg sold for €1.71-3.38/kg. Heavy heifers made €1.90-2.90/kg. Weanling heifers sold for €1.70-2.74/kg and weanling bulls made €1.73-3.15/kg.

The best of the sucklers, a four-year-old Limousin second calver with a Charolais bull at foot made €1,600, while the top cull cow, a five-year-old Charolais weighing 865kg hit a high of €2,000.

In Carnew, continental store bullocks made €450-920 over the weight. Friesian stores made €150-500 over. Strong export demand for suitable weanling bulls saw top prices of up to €900 over the €/kg paid.

Beef heifers sold for €800-1,100 with their weight. Stores made €320-750 with the €/kg. Well-fleshed cull cows made €450-1,000 over the weight. Cows for further feeding sold for €50-400 over the weight.

In the suck calf ring, Friesian bulls sold for €80-170. Continental bull calves sold for €180-420/hd and coloured heifers made €140-380.

Top class bulls over 600kg sold for €555-1,230 over the weight at Raphoe Mart. Store bullocks made €615-860 over. Beef heifers made €805-1,220 over the €/kg. Stores sold for €300-745 with their weight. Cull cows sold for €800-2,140 each.

In Tuam, continental steers sold for €1.72-2.56/kg. Heavy weanling bulls made €2.15-2.39/kg and lighter types made €1.96-2.34/kg. Heifers sold for €1.83-2.61/kg. Cows with calves at foot sold for €1,180-1,450. Cull cows hit a high of €1,730 or €2.08/kg.

At Mayo/Sligo Mart, cows with a calf at foot made up to €1,740. Cull cows topped out at €1,500 for a 686kg cow. Continental bull calves sold for €505/hd, while heifer calves sold for €140-390/hd.

Irish Independent