Farm Ireland

Sunday 18 February 2018

Trade strengthens further as suckler cows hit high of €2,000

Culls make up to ¤2/kg in a year of improving prices

Joe Healy

Trade at the cattle marts started off the year pretty good but it seems like it has just got better and better as the year has progressed and, even now as we move into the second last month, the trade for the past week shows no sign of any let up.

Suckler cows hit a high of €2,000 and cull cows made up to €2/kg. Good weanling bulls and heifers are commanding €3/kg and continental store bullocks and heifers are being snapped up at €1.90-2.70/kg. Plainer breeds were making €1.50-1.90/kg and beef animals were selling at €1.80-2.35/kg.

The 850 cattle on offer at Kilkenny Mart met with a steady trade. Cull cows were probably the best sellers and sold up to €2/kg. Heavy continental steers sold for €1.95-2.35/kg. Continental stores made €2-2.47/kg, Herefords sold up to €2.08/kg and the best of the Friesians made up to €2.02/kg, with 495kg making €1,000. In the heifer ring, well-fleshed lots made €1.90-2.35/kg. Butcher heifers sold for €1.75-2.33/kg, while stores made €1.90-2.64/kg.

At the mart's special suckler cow sale, prices for cows with a calf at foot made €1,300-2,000. The heavy continental bulls over 400kg sold for €2.10-2.38/kg. Lighter bulls made €2.30-3.00/kg. Friesian bulls sold for €1.82/kg, while heifers weighing 300-400kg made €2.10-2.54/kg. Lighter types sold for €2.30-2.86/kg. Continental cull cows made €1.50-2.00/kg, while the Friesians sold for €1.10-1.65/kg.

A huge turnout of buyers at Ballina Mart saw the best of the weanling bulls make €500-930 with their weight, while top-quality Belgian Blue, Charolais and Limousin heifer weanlings sold for €600-1,160 over. Cull cows made €500-1,180, with in-calf heifers at €1,100-1,705.

There was a slightly smaller sale of just over 400 cattle at Baltinglass Mart. Heavy bullocks sold for €1.80-2.27/kg, forward stores made €1.72-2.35/kg and lighter stores sold for €1.60-2.72/kg.

Beef heifers sold for €1.82-2.25/kg as stores made €1.80-2.15/kg. Weanling bulls sold for €1.95-2.46/kg, while the heifers traded at €1.80-2.20/kg. Cull cows varied from €1.12-1.67/kg.

A big yard of 1,062 cattle at Balla Mart met with a flying trade on Saturday. Steer prices were up by €20/hd and sold at €2.07-2.64/kg, while heavy heifers made €2.08-2.54/kg. Store heifers sold for €2.11-3.21/kg for top quality lots.

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In-calf cows and cows with a calf at foot sold for €1,100-1,600. Earlier in the week at the mart's weanling sale, the bulls sold for €410-745 over the weight, while heifers made €340-825.

Trade continued strong at Ballymote, with lots of northern and midland customers competing with local farmers. The light stores made €350-700 over their weight. Heavy lots over 500kg sold for €450-685 over. Heifers suitable for breeding made €800-1,050 with the weight. Stores made €300-665 over. Cull cows sold for €300-735 over the weight. Top quality weanling bulls under 300kg made up to €3.04/kg and generally sold for €325-570 with the weight.

At Wexford Farmers Mart, beef bullocks moved at €620-900 over. Stores sold at €370-750 over. Beef and butcher heifers made €410-700 with their weight. Store heifers sold for €375-670 over. Well-fleshed cull cows made as high as €750 over the weight. Store culls sold back to €100 over. Weanling bulls generally sold for €350-550 over, with some choice lots making up to €650 over.

At the mart's calf sale, the trade for the 110 on offer remained strong. Continental bulls sold for €420-550, with the heifers making €320-440.

Dowra Mart had 840 cattle on offer on Saturday with a very buoyant trade for all classes.

Forward store heifers made €400-650 over, while a few lots for breeding made up to €850 over. Weanling heifers sold from €350-650 over their weight.

Good heavy bulls made €730-990 over the weight in Raphoe. Beef steers sold for €515-995 over and stores made €415-745 over. Well-fleshed heifers moved at €420-940 with the weight.

Indo Farming