The harsh weather and serious shortage of feed on farms took its toll on prices at the IHFA's premier bull show and sale at Nenagh last week.
The average price for bulls sold fell far short of last year's average of €3,700, with prices generally ranging from €1,900-2,200.
The clearance was also poorer than last year, with many of the vendors choosing to return the bulls to their herds in the hope that an improvement in the weather over the coming weeks will lift the trade.
"There is no feed left on a lot of farms and farmers don't want to be adding to a terrible situation with extra stock. The weather is having a big effect on all bull sales at the present," admitted the IHFA's chief executive, Charles Gallagher.
The highest price on the day was €3,200 for Mountfarna Gerard with an EBI of €74, which was exhibited by John O'Callaghan, Farnivane, Bandon, Co Cork. This was down from a top price of €7,500 at the same sale in 2012.
The champion of the show was awarded to Croagh Fevered exhibited by Patrick Frawley, Raheen, Croagh, Co Limerick. The bull was out of a dam that has yielded over 12,100kg at 3.72pc fat and 3.36pc protein. He subsequently sold for €3,000.
The winner of the reserve championship was Copsewood Total from the Salesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry, Co Limerick. His mother yielded over 11,000kg at 3.58pc fat and 3.21pc protein.
Co Louth breeder, Tom Kelly, from Philipstown, Drogheda scored a double after he won two of the class awards with Monamore Ebay with an EBI of €106 and Monamore Vanpersie with an EBI of €100.
Class 1: 1. Patrick Frawley, Croagh, Co Limerick (Croagh Fevered); 2. John J O'Sullivan, Lisduff, Whitechurch (Lisduff Magnetic); 3. Mervyn Eager, Castlebaggot Road, Newcastle, Co Dublin (Evergrange Spotter).
Class 2: 1. Salesian Agricultural College, Pallaskenry (Copsewood Total); 2. Paul Hannan, Friarstown, Crecora, Co Limerick (Lisnalty Seaver); 3. Thomas Buckley, Ballinahina, Cork (Ballinahina Razzle).
Class 3: 1. Tom Kelly, Drogheda, Co Louth (Monamore Ebay); 2. Gerard McCormack, Cappavilla, Clonlara, Co Clare (Cappavilla Fortune); 3. Robert J Moore, Stamullen, Co Meath (Fowlerstown Jem).
Class 4: 1. Tom Kelly, Drogheda, Co Louth (Monamore Vanpersie); 2. Philip George Jones, Killowen, Gorey (Hallow Sidra); 3. Michael Denis Healy, Ovens, Co Cork (Mylawn Leader).