There were some 300 dairy-bred calves on offer at Bandon Mart on Monday (December 14). To get a bit of insight into the trade, AgriLand caught up with Tom McCarthy, the mart’s manager, to see what the demand was like for calves at the Cork-based mart.

Speaking on the sale, Tom stated: ”There’s always a very good demand for calves at this time of the year.

”But compared to this time last year it would still be stronger. Calf prices I’d say are up €20-30/head at least.”

The sale contained a mix of: Friesian; Hereford; Angus; and Continental-type bull and heifer calves.

Tom stated: ”We had a 100% clearance of calves on the day and that’s the way calf sales have been for the last few months, with many farmers seeming to have turned their attention to calves.

“Prices for three-to-four week old Friesian calves ranged from €100/head up to €150/head, while Angus and Hereford calves, of the same age, made from €250/head and €330/head.

”I believe the strong demand may be due to store cattle and weanlings being so expensive, with many farmers not seeing the value in these cattle.

“Buying calves gives farmers a nice pen of stock to feed over the winter months and turnout to spring grass early next year.”

Sample prices of calves for sale with ages ranging from three-to-four weeks