Demand for calves continues into new year

The latest Covid-19 Level 5 restrictions and recent bad weather had lead to a cancellation of many sales planned for the first week of the new year.

This was not the case at Enniscorthy Mart which held its first sale of calves on Wednesday, January 6. To gain some insight into the trade, AgriLand spoke to the assistant manager of the model county-based mart, Kevin Murphy.

Speaking on the sale Kevin stated: ”Our first week back saw a small number of calves brought forward for sale, with prices remaining very strong.

Sales are back online for the third time in 12 months, this is in line with the latest Covid-19  Level 5 restrictions.

”The calves on offer consisted mostly of genuine suck calves between three and six weeks of age, with a small number of reared calves also present. Most calves on offer were of strong quality and all sold well on the day.

”Continental calves, mainly Limousin crosses, sold anywhere from €220/head for young calves and up to €400/head for top quality male suck calves – with heifers topping out at €355/head on the day.

Continental-bred calves sample prices:

• Limousin bull: €315;
• Limousin bull: €250;
• Limousin heifer: €355;
• Limousin bull: €385;
• Limousin bull: €400.

”Friesian bull calves sold from €80/head for lesser calves and up to €275/head for the calves with better quality,” Kevin added.

Friesian-bred calves sample prices:

• Friesian bull: €275;
• Friesian bull: €160;
• Friesian bull: €170;
• Friesian bull: €80;
• Friesian bull: €100.

”Hereford & Angus calves ranged from €160/head for plainer calves up to a top price of €320/head for a quality Hereford.”

Hereford and Angus-bred calves sample prices:

• Hereford bull: €320;
• Hereford bull: €300;
• Hereford heifer: €280;
• Hereford heifer: €255;
• Angus bull: €250;
• Angus heifer: €160.

Kevin concluded by explaining: ”Reared calves were scarce on the day and lacked quality, but they ranged from €250/head for poorer quality Angus and up to €420/head. Overall it was a very positive trade to start the new year.”