One of the remaining deadlines for the first tranche of the Beef Data Genomics Program (BDGP) scheme was yesterday (Saturday, October 31).

Participants in BDGP (1) must have met the requirement of having at least 50% of the herd’s referenced number of females, aged over 16-months-old, genotyped either 4 or 5-stars on the Replacement Index.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and the Irish Cattle Breeding Federation (ICBF) organised special ‘BDGP-eligible female sales’ in marts around the country. These were being held in the weeks leading up to the scheme’s deadline.

Carnew Mart

Carnew Mart held a ‘BDGP-eligible female sale’ on Saturday, October 24. It was run in conjunction with the mart’s weekly cattle sales.

Commenting on the trade for the scheme’s eligible females, the mart manager, David Quinn, noted: “In general, heifers [that were suitable for the scheme] were making about €50-60/head more than their commercial value compared to if they didn’t have 4 or 5-stars.”

The mart had a total of 300 heifers on offer in the sale. David stated: “There were about 80 to 100 females that were eligible for the scheme.”

The mart also held a similar sale for eligible females over three weeks ago, which saw a larger demand for these animals during that time.

“In comparison to our sale three weeks ago, we saw suitable heifers making €100 more than their commercial value. Judging the two sales, farmers seem to be getting closer to their reference number of females in recent times as there wasn’t as many anxious farmers looking for these 4 or 5-star animals compared to previous weeks.”

Sample prices for eligible cows rated 5-stars on the day:

  • Simmental cow with calf at foot: €1,680;
  • Simmental cow with calf at foot: €2,350;
  • Angus cow calving in January: €1,450.

Sample prices for eligible heifers rated 5-stars on the day:

  • Limousin: 550kg – €1,320 or €2.40/kg;
  • Limousin: 522kg – €1,340 or €2.56/kg;
  • Limousin: 450kg – €1,050 or €2.33/kg;
  • Limousin: 410kg – €960 or €2.34/kg;
  • Angus: 420kg – €860 or €2.04/kg;
  • Simmental: 350kg – €830 or €2.37/kg.

Ballyjamesduff Mart

The final organised sale for eligible females was held in Ballyjamesduff Mart on Wednesday last (October 28), with a total of 25 genotyped 4 or 5-star rated females entered for the sale. The mart also held a sale for eligible females which had seen a larger number of entries up 150 females over three weeks ago.

John Tevlin, the mart manager, stated: “The trade was very good for these females; some farmers had left their buying until the last minute and so the sellers were able to take advantage of that.

“There was a good level of interest overall as this was the final sale for these females.”

Sample prices for eligible heifers on the day:

  • Limousin: 520kg – €1,240 or €2.38/kg;
  • Limousin: 480kg – €1,210 or €2.52kg;
  • Limousin: 470kg – €1,230 or €2.61kg;
  • Saler: 465kg – €1,130 or €2.43/kg;
  • Saler: 435kg – €1,100 or €2.52/kg;
  • Limousin: 430kg – €1,060 or €2.46/kg;
  • Simmental: 370kg – €1,320 or €3.56/kg.