Pics and prices: Lighter continental stock in demand at Kilkenny Mart

A large cattle sale, consisting of 1,050 animals, was witnessed in Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill, on Thursday last (April 5). Both farmers and feedlot agents competed for stock at the ringside.

The mart manager Michael Lynch outlined that the trade was buoyant considering the adverse weather conditions that we are experiencing at the moment. In addition, he explained that the trade has remained in a positive position given the fodder situation on some farms across the country.

He said: “The cull cow trade is hopping; there is also a strong demand for short-keep heifers and bullocks. Grass buyers have started to emerge slowly; farmers who have large numbers to source have been active in recent days.

“We have seen a steady increase in the numbers and I would expect this to increase going forward,” he explained.

George Candler, the mart’s auctioneer, added that there was a remarkably good trade – especially for continental types in both the bullock and heifer rings.

He also outlined that the prices show great resilience due to farmers purchasing cattle in the present weather conditions.

Bullocks

The trade was very brisk for quality bullocks. Beef bullocks sold for €1.80-2.42/kg, while forward store lots traded for €765-1,450/head or €1.60-2.62/kg.

Prices achieved by lighter animals varied depending on quality. Good-quality steers sold to a top price of €3.11/kg. Plainer steers – particularly of dairy origin – proved a more difficult trade.

In the steer ring, a top price of €1,155 was achieved by a Charolais bullock weighing 370kg.

Heifers

Quality heifers also met a good trade. The heavier lots made €2.00-2.50/kg, €1.80-2.70/kg was paid for the forward store lots and the lighter store classes (<400kg) made €1.70-2.95/kg.

A top-price of €1,095 was achieved by two Limousin heifers; they weighed 395kg.

Cows

A number of cows also went under the hammer at the Kilkenny-based venue. The trade was brisk from start to finish. Friesian lots traded for €0.90-1.85/kg, while continental types sold for €1.25-2.15/kg.