Balla mart, Co. Mayo, returned this weekend (Saturday, May 29) with just over 600 cattle auctioned, and a limited number of buyers attending.
With social distancing in place and masks on faces, buyers and sellers went about their business and Balla manager, Stephen Hannon said: “It was great that buyers were back around the rings and sellers allowed into the sellers box.”
Balla mart bullocks
Bullocks 300kg to 400kg averaged €2.51kg; store bullocks 400kg to 500kg averaged €2.35/kg, while heavier bullocks 500kg and more, averaged €2.27/kg.
An 860kg Aberdeen Angus Cross (AAX) made €2,000 for one farmer from Taugheen in Claremorris.
There were just over 200 heifers – an improvement on last week, said Stephen.
Heifers up to 400kg averaged €2.49/kg; heifers weighing 400kg to 500kg averaged €2.35/kg; while heifers weighing 500kg or more averaged €2.32/kg.
“A really nice heifer weighing 660kg made €1,620 for a farmer from Brize in Claremorris,” said Stephen.
There was a large sale of dry cows with over a 100 lots on offer. A 905kg Charolais made €2,050, sold by a farmer from Ballycroy in Westport.
In the springers, there was a good mix of cattle, the best being a 655kg 2018 limousine cow with its heifer calf at foot, which made €1,420.
There was a small amount of bull weanlings with those up to 350kg averaging €2.43/kg; 350kg to 450kg were averaging €2.33/kg and those weighing 450kg or more were averaging €2.22/kg.
Buyers and sellers have been permitted to attend marts since May 17 and on that day, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, acknowledged the efforts of all parties throughout the Covid-19 pandemic.
Buyers who wish to be present at ringside must wear face coverings and adhere to strict 2m social distancing. Marts must also prevent the congregation of members of the public in the mart car park or at entry ways into mart buildings.
Marts must operate in line with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) which have been approved by regional veterinary offices. Breaches can result in suspension.
Next week at Balla
Bullocks/heifers will be booked at 9:30am on Wednesday June 2 for next Saturday’s sale and cows will be booked at 11am.
Weanlings will be booked on Thursday, June 3 between 9:30am to 1:00pm for the weanlings sale on Saturday. Booking number is 0818 301 401.