Full clearance of calves at first ‘tender sale’ at Kilkenny Mart

Some 200 calves were on offer at Kilkenny Mart on Tuesday last, April 7. This was the first sale that took place at the venue under a new ‘tender’ system due to Covid-19 restrictions.

While not ideal, the sale went ahead and all 200 calves found new homes. Looking at prices achieved on the day, good-quality Friesian bull calves made from €50/head to €135/head, while lesser-quality types made €30-60/head.

There were also a number of continental calves for sale, with bulls selling from €140/head right through to €300/head; continental heifers made €80-250/head.

Traditional breeds were also on offer on Tuesday and Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bulls sold at €70-240/head, while early maturing heifers went under the hammer for €40-200/head.

AgriLand caught up with well-known mart auctioneer, George Candler, to see how the sale went under Covid-19 protocols.

Our first tender sale of calves in Kilkenny resulted in a full clearance with continental bulls making up to €300/head, while continental heifers sold to a top of €250/head.

Friesian bulls made a top price of €135/head with Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bulls selling to a top price of €240/head, with their heifer counterparts selling up to €200/head.

Sellers dropped off their calves with relevant ID cards etc. and did not exit their vehicles; mart staff penned their animals.

Once that was completed, we allowed potential buyers a 15-minute period to tender a price in which they were interested.

No more than four buyers were allowed in at a designated time and this was strictly adhered to. On completion of the tender process, the highest tender secured their animals after consultation with sellers.

It’s not an ideal situation, but it worked comparatively well.

The same process was carried out for today’s – Thursday, April 9 – cattle sale, but numbers were confined to 250 head.