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Very strong numbers in Roscrea as farmers seek stock for grass

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These three Limousin cross bullocks with an average weight of 468kg sold for €1,080 each at Roscrea Mart. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

These three Limousin cross bullocks with an average weight of 468kg sold for €1,080 each at Roscrea Mart. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

These three Limousin cross bullocks with an average weight of 468kg sold for €1,080 each at Roscrea Mart. Photo: Liam Burke/Press 22

Roscrea Mart came together with the marts in Nenagh and Birr in 2005 to form Central Auctions Co-operative Marts.

Michael Harty became its CEO in 2017. Speaking with him at the weekend I asked how the trade for cattle has evolved in the early part of 2020.

"Trade so far has been excellent and we're now seeing numbers increase as we get close to the grass," he said.

Sample

Sample prices from last week's sale included twelve 496kg Angus bullocks at €1,080/hd, four red 580kg Limousins at €1,280/hd and two 375kg Charolais at €975/hd.

Apart from increased dairy numbers and a reducing suckler community, how else has the expansion of dairy impacted?

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This Friesian cow weighing 590kg sold for €750 at Roscrea. Photo: Liam Burke/Press22

This Friesian cow weighing 590kg sold for €750 at Roscrea. Photo: Liam Burke/Press22

This Friesian cow weighing 590kg sold for €750 at Roscrea. Photo: Liam Burke/Press22

"This has always been a strong dairy region, with many dairy farms also running beef enterprises, especially on outside farms," Michael said.

"Today, grazing the outside farm for the summer doesn't come into the equation. They cut them for silage and probably have a zero grazer and draw the grass home for the cow's rest of the year".

Another issue that Michael sees impacting the cattle trade is the age profile of those continuing in the beef business.

"Dairying has soaked up the younger generation leaving the cattle trade to more traditional and older men, which long term is not good," he explained.

Indo Farming