Farm Ireland

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Sheep marts: Breeding ewe levels starting to tighten

Joe Healy

Numbers appear to be reducing especially in the breeding ewe section. Prices across the board are holding firm, with some marts reporting a strengthening in the trade.

Farmers are active for the ewe lambs that are strong enough to breed at the moment. The mild weather, which allowed grass to grow throughout last month, has helped to keep a floor on store lamb prices. Cull ewes with flesh continue to reach prices of up to and more than €100/hd.

Numbers were back at the sheep sale in Dowra with 1,600 sheep on offer but trade remained strong for all classes.

A small number of heavy lambs made €90-105 each. The best of the store lambs sold for €65-80/hd. The lighter mountain lambs made €50-70 each. The stronger ewe lambs sold for prices of €85-110 each, while the best of the ewe hoggets and young breeding ewes made €130-180/hd. Prices for cull ewes made €70-100/hd. Lighter ewes for feeding made €45-65 each.

There was a smaller number on offer compared to the previous week at Mountbellew Mart. Demand for fleshy lambs was strong with improved prices of €45-50 over the weight being the general run. Store lambs also met with an increased demand and sold for €40-45 over. Trade for the stag ewes and breeding ewes was steady. Prices for the culls were €72-110. Ewe hoggets made €96-145 and the older breeders sold for €77-122/hd.

Fat lambs made €85-103/hd at Baltinglass Mart, while the stores sold for €60-75 each. Breeding ewes made €110-130 and cull ewes achieved up to €95/hd. Breeding rams varied from €150-380.

Maam Cross and the surrounding areas are moving into their breeding season and mountain ewe hoggets made €80-125/hd. First-, second- and third-crop ewes for breeding sold for €60-95. Prices for the mountain ewe lambs made €50-100, cull ewes €38-63 each, wether lambs €35-54 and crossbreds €48-102/hd.

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