Friesian bull calves selling at €50-60/head – Carlow Mart

There were a total of 120 calves on offer at Carlow Mart on Monday morning, April 6. This was the first event since the mart received the green light from the Department of Agriculture to facilitate the trading of cattle in some capacity.

The sale was dominated by Friesian bull calves (80%), while the remaining number was made up of both Aberdeen Angus and Hereford lots.

Although it was a relatively small sale, both exporters and farmer customers were present to tender for suitable lots which were viewed separately.

On the day, a full clearance was achieved with Friesian bull calves selling in the region of €50-60/head.

Aberdeen Angus bulls were reported to sell for approximately €110-135/head, with the odd bull making up to €200/head; younger bulls made €100/head. Hereford bulls hovered around the €120/head mark.

AgriLand caught up with mart manager Jimmy Walsh to see how the sale went under the new restrictions.

Here’s what he had to say:

The calves were all brought in by arrangement with a 10-minute gap between the sellers. They were are all given a slot to arrive in between 9:30am and 11:00am.

The department were here – both a department vet and a department officer and I only had four staff on in total.

We had 120 calves. We had contacted the main buyers that are normally here – a mixture between exporters and farmers. There was a good response and shippers were happy to be here.

The running of the sale is tricky. It’s by tender and they draw lots and view the calves before making an offer by way of tender; bidding is completely independent.

The sellers were all instructed to leave once they dropped off the calves and they were sold and gone off the premises by 2:00pm. It’s not the best way in the world to sell stock; there is no doubt about it, but we have to play with the cards we are dealt.

In terms of prices, there was a bit of interest for Angus calves and it was similar to previous weeks. The only thing different was the labour involved in getting them sold; it’s very hard to beat the spirit of a competitive auction.

We might try with cattle later in the week. But it would be far more preferable if we could have some sort of an auction situation.