Farm Ireland

Monday 23 October 2017

'Sometimes a picture can do no justice to the animal's quality'

Ray Doyle
Ray Doyle

A four-inch photograph of a Limousin bull won't entice older farmers to part with hard-earned cash, a mart manager has warned.

Although Mid Tipp Mart in Thurles dipped its toe in online auctions, it has decided to temporarily suspend the service due to low uptake and smaller numbers going through the mart.

Martin Ryan, mart manager, says it hasn't been easy to get farmers interested and used to availing of the service.

"Anonymity was the biggest advantage but when mart numbers are a little small, the anonymous nature of the bidding is gone out of it," he said, adding the system proved more useful for big sales.

However, he says all farmers still want to see the animals in the flesh. "Looking at our age demographic going into the mart, the average age is 65 years plus and it's getting older not younger. Younger farmers want to come in quickly, do their business and leave, but they want to see the animal too so we haven't got the balance right just yet," he said.

Learning curve

"It's very hard to have camera angles right and sometimes a picture can do no justice to the size and quality of the animal," he said.

"It's been a learning curve and we will be going back to it, but it will be more dependent on numbers for selling rather than having it as a novelty," he said.

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A new app is being developed in conjunction with ICOS to introduce phone app bidding while on mart grounds.

Ray Doyle, ICOS spokesman, said the last thing ­developers want to do is pull people away to completely remote bidding online, but he adds that it is a step towards the future online selling of livestock.

"We have to live in the real world and more and more business is done via your phone. The bidding app is at ­embryonic stage, but our initial thoughts are to confine it to the Wi-Fi of the mart centre."

Indo Farming