On Saturday last (March 27) Agriland made the trip to Mountbellew Mart for its weekly sheep sale.
Numbers were back on the previous week which saw a full yard of sheep, although a strong showing of cull ewes and ewes with lambs at foot was seen.
Hoggets and spring lambs made up just over two rows, with spring lambs not as hot a trade as seen at other marts, while a steady trade overall was seen for hoggets with the exception of a couple of standout pens of ewe hoggets.
Starting with the spring lambs, prices ranged from €141/head up to a top of €168/head. There were only a handful of pens on offer on the day. Some other lighter lots were bid up to €132/head but didn’t sell.
Looking at the hogget trade, the top prices were generally seen for ewe hoggets with breeding potential, with prices for these lots pushing from €160/head up to €176/head.
As seen at other marts, quality among hoggets is becoming more variable as the weeks go on.
In general, prices for 50kg plus hoggets ranged from €150/head up to a standout price of €176/head for a pen of four ewe hoggets weighing 61.3kg.
However, in the main, many of these types moved at prices of €155-163/head.
The strongest trade was seen for hoggets in the 44-49kg weight bracket. 46-49kg hoggets traded from €140/head up to €168/head.
Furthermore, 44-45kg hoggets traded from €130/head up to €160/head for a smashing pen of 44kg Suffolk ewe hoggets.
While 37-43kg lots made from €95/head up to €129/head.
A very brisk trade was seen for cull ewes at Mountbellew on Saturday, with the auctioneer at times struggling to keep up with the bids that were flying in.
The top price in the cull ewe section was for a 113.5kg ewe (seen below) that sold for €188.
Prices for ewes weighing 90-100kg ranged from €140 up to €172, while 80-89kg lots traded from €132 up to €160.
The lightest ewes at Mountbellew on Saturday were from 50-60kg and sold back to €78.
Ewes with lambs at foot
There was plenty of activity for ewes with lambs at foot in Mountbellew on Saturday, with two full rows to choose from for farmers.
The top price in this section was €320 for a ewe and her two strong lambs (seen below).
The general run of prices for ewes with single lambs at foot ran from €112/unit up to €242/unit.
While ewes with twin lambs at foot moved at prices ranging from €154/unit for aged ewes with young lambs, up to a tops of €285-320/unit for ewes with strong lambs.