Over one million cattle have passed through Irish marts in the first six months of this year, according to latest mart figures from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM).
In total, 1,015,796 cattle passed through Irish marts in the first six months of the year. Of these, 968,685 head of cattle were sold and 47,131 cattle returned home.
The number of cattle sold at marts during the first six months of 2022 shows significant growth in numbers with figures available as far back as 2019.
The table below shows the number of cattle sold at Irish marts in the first six months of 2022, 2021, 2020 and 2019:
Month 2022 2021 2020 2019 January 80,208 65,135 66,244 52,999 February 154,501 131,437 142,979 136,365 March 249,100 227,951 158,656 216,341 April 216,305 207,523 78,398 234,053 May 157,893 140,366 92,388 150,624 June 110,658 89,872 96,266 80,759 Total: 968,665 862,284 634,931 871,141
It should be pointed out that the table above includes only the number of sold cattle and excludes the cattle that went to the mart and were unsold.
In March this year, 249,100 cattle were sold, marking a record month for mart sales. Large volumes of calves from dairy farms appearing at marts in the spring are a significant attributing factor to this figure.
In 2020, numbers of cattle sold at marts dipped significantly due to the outbreak of Covid-19 and the resulting social-distancing regulations. The introduction of online bidding overcame this setback and online bidders now account for a significant portion of the cattle sold at weekly cattle sales.
Strong prices for heavy cattle in May and June this year meant many farmers opted to sell forward and finished type cattle at mart sales, further adding to the overall mart sales figure.