Mart trade: Steady cow prices around the country

The country received mixed weather over the past week and farmers have battled the elements in an effort to harvest silage where possible. The resulting field work saw cattle numbers fall in some marts across the country.

Despite this, the trade remained relatively strong. In addition, grass growth has remained strong on many farms throughout the country and grass buyers have also been active at the ringside for those lighter store lots.

However, the cow trade is the biggest talking point, with prices firm depending on quality. Continental lots are the best trade, while dairy cows are an easier trade.

Bullock and heifers are relatively steady, with little change in weanling prices.

Raphoe Mart

Last Thursday’s sale (June 13) in Raphoe Mart, Co. Donegal, featured a “good” entry of cattle, according to the mart’s Anne Harkin.

Good-quality cattle and forward-store lots were reported to be in demand. Grass growth is said to be strong, with farmers in the market for suitable stores.

grass

Bulls and bullocks sold for €630-860 over and beef heifers made €500-840 along with the weight; store heifers went under the hammer for €350-600 over.

Prices on a €/kg basis were €1.90-2.70/kg for bulls and bullocks, €2.00-2.80/kg for heifers, while fat cows made €810-1,645/head.

In addition, dry cows sold for €620-1,510/head.

Headford Mart

Headford Mart held its weekly cattle sale on Saturday last, June 15. On the day, bullock prices ranged from €100 to €810 over or from €1.28/kg to €2.76/kg, according to the mart’s manager Joe Wynne.

Two Limousin bullocks weighing 895kg achieved the top price of €1,480 or €2.21/kg. Looking at the top price on a €/kg basis, this went to two Charolais bullocks weighing 315kg; they sold for €870 or €2.76/kg.

In the heifer ring, these lots made €345-700 along with the weight or €1.90-2.67/kg. A Charolais heifer achieved a top price of €1,200 (€2.40/kg); she weighed 500kg. Furthermore, €2.67/kg (€1,040) was paid for a Limousin heifer weighing 390kg.

Looking to weanling heifers, these animals sold for €375-565 over or €2.20-2.64/kg. An Aubrac weanling heifer weighing 345kg sold for €910 or €2.64/kg.

Moving to weanling bulls, prices ranged from €395-715 along with the weight, or €2.33-2.48/kg. A Charolais bull – weighing 495kg – was bought for €1,210 or €2.44/kg and the top price on a €/kg basis was again a Charolais bull weighing 395kg; he sold for €980 or €2.48/kg.

Cull cows were reported to sell for €800-1,260/head, while cows with calves at foot made €1,450/unit.

Ennis Mart

A smaller sale was reported to take place at Ennis Mart on Thursday last, June 13, mainly due to farmers cutting silage and getting field work completed.

Sample bullock prices:
  • Charolais: 445kg – €1,215 or €2.73/kg;
  • Charolais: 490kg – €1,270 or €2.59/kg;
  • Limousin: 535kg – €1,290 or €2.42/kg;
  • Hereford: 493kg – €980 or €1.99/kg.

The trade was reported to be strong – especially for good-quality stores. In addition, aged bulls were reported to sell for €1.59/kg on average.

Sample heifer prices:
  • Limousin: 485kg – €1,230 or €2.53/kg;
  • Charolais: 450kg – €1,115 or €2.48/kg;
  • Charolais: 501kg – €1,285 or €2.56/kg;
  • Limousin: 443kg – €1,100 or €2.48/kg.

On the day, 100 cull cows went under the hammer; sample prices are listed below.

Sample cull cow prices:
  • Limousin: 920kg – €1,825 or €1.98/kg;
  • Charolais: 795kg – €1,610 or €2.03/kg;
  • Limousin: 660kg – €1,270 or €1.92/kg;
  • Limousin: 525kg – €1,150 or €2.19/kg.

Castlerea Mart

Approximately 450 cattle were presented for sale at Castlerea Mart, Co. Roscommon, on Thursday last, June 13.

According to the mart’s manager, Brendan Egan, all categories of stock met a good demand and a good clearance was recorded – similar to the week previous.

Demand for lighter store bullocks and heifers was reported to have increased on the previous week. The cow trade was described as firm, with weanlings recording good clearances.

Sample heifer and steer prices:
  • Belgian Blue heifer: 400kg – €1,190 or €2.98/kg;
  • Limousin heifer: 350kg – €1,020 or €2.91/kg;
  • Charolais heifer: 475kg – €1,370 or €2.88/kg;
  • Belgian Blue bullock: 475kg – €1,290 or €2.71/kg;
  • Limousin bullock: 465kg – €1,200 or €2.58/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus bullock: 470kg – €1,070 or €2.27/kg.

Furthermore, springers made €940-1,800/head, while cows with calves at foot made €1,050-1,660/unit. In addition, a number of dry cows also went under the hammer at the Roscommon-based venue.

Sample dry cow prices:
  • Simmental: 810kg – €1,445 or €1.78/kg;
  • Charolais: 725kg – €1,415 or €1.95/kg;
  • Charolais: 870kg – €1,680 or €1.93/kg;
  • Limousin: 625kg – €1,205 or €1.92/kg.

Moving to the calf ring, young calves made from €40/head to €355/head, while runners made €350-700/head.

Sample weanling prices:
  • Limousin bull: 385kg – €990 or €2.57/kg;
  • Limousin bull: 325kg – €940 or €2.89/kg;
  • Charolais bull: 355kg – €950 or €2.67/kg;
  • Aberdeen Angus bull: 240kg – €620 or €2.58/kg.

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