Sheep marts: Farmers looking to store lambs to graze grass rather than cattle

The recent beef protests have had a significant impact on the sheep trade in the past week, with demand easing for factory-fit lambs.

The store lamb trade continues to gain momentum, with marts reporting a €2-3/head increase in price.

Farmers are looking at the option of buying in lighter store lambs between 23kg and 25kg to graze surplus grass.

Furthermore, the hogget and breeding ewe trade remains lively with plenty of buyers for these lots.

Carnew Mart

There was a smaller entry of sheep on offer at last week’s sale at Carnew Mart, according to the mart manager, David Quinn.

There was a good demand for store and heavy lambs with prices up €2/head.

Furthermore, a special entry of 400 breeding mule ewes saw a full clearance with a brisk demand reported.

Cull ewes made from €62/head up to €115/head. The hogget trade was lively, with prices ranging from €140/head up to €190/head.

Moreover, breeding ram prices sold from between €150/head and €480/head.

Sample prices:

  • Butcher and factory lambs: €90-104/head;
  • Store lambs over 35kg: €76-88/head;
  • Store lambs under 35kg: €62-81/head;
  • Ewe lambs: €85-128/head;
  • Older breeding ewes: €85-155/head.

Blessington Mart

There was a large entry of 2,648 sheep on offer at Blessington Mart’s weekly sale on Tuesday last, September 17.

Furthermore, there was a lively trade reported for hoggets and ewe lambs. Heavier lots of sheep remained a similar trade to last week.

Sample prices:

  • Heavy lambs: €97-101/head;
  • Factory lambs: €87-97/head;
  • Store lambs over 35kg: €75-88/head;
  • Store lambs under 35kg: €58-78/head;
  • Suffolk cross ewe lambs: €90-130/head;
  • Fat ewes: €100-130/head;
  • Feeding ewes: €65-96/head.

Dowra Mart

A slightly bigger sale of sheep was on offer compared to last week at Dowra Mart, according to the mart manager, Patsy Smyth.

There was an improved trade reported for store lambs and quality ewe lambs.

Factory lambs were back €2-3/head from last week, with prices ranging from €78/head up to €92.50/head.

Furthermore, forward stores made from €70/head up to €80/head, with lighter types making from €50/head up to €70/head.

The best of the hoggets made from €140/head up to €160/head, while lighter lots made from €100/head up to €130/head.

Roscommon Mart

There was a smaller entry of sheep on offer at last week’s sale at Roscommon Mart.

According to the mart manager – Maura Quigley – there was a good demand for both breeding ewes and hoggets.

Furthermore, hoggets sold up to a top price of €192/head. First crop breeding ewes made up to €193/head.

Sample prices:

  • Hoggets made from between €123/head and €192/head;
  • Two-year-old ewes made from between €121/head and €193/head;
  • Three-year-old ewes made from between €111/head and €140/head.

Raphoe Mart

There was a good entry of sheep on offer at Raphoe Mart on Monday, September 16, according to the mart manager, Anne Harkin.

Furthermore, there was a good trade for all stock on offer. Heavy ewes sold from €60/head up to €130/head.

Lambs sold at:

  • 27-34kg: €60-70/head;
  • 34-38kg: €70-80/head;
  • 38-44kg: €80-90/head;
  • 44-55kg: €90-100/head.

Ewe lambs sold at:

  • 53kg: €118/head;
  • 53kg: €113/head;
  • 50kg: €107/head.

Tuam Mart

There was a good trade reported at last week’s sale at Tuam Mart on Tuesday, September 17, according to the mart manager Marian Devane.

Ewe and wether lambs were a steady trade. Furthermore, cast ewes made up to €125/head. Hoggets were a good trade, with a top price of €220/head achieved.

Moreover, breeding ewes made up to €152/head.

Sample lamb prices:
  • 47kg: €126/head;
  • 48kg: €120/head;
  • 48kg: €95/head;
  • 52kg: €100/head;
  • 51kg: €100/head.

Baltinglass Mart

Baltinglass Mart’s sheep sale took place on Saturday, September 21.

There was a large entry of ewes and lambs on offer, according to the mart manager, Joe Kinsella.

Suffolk cross hoggets sold for a top price of €185/head. Furthermore, Cheviot cross hogget ewes achieved a top price of €175/head.

The older breeding ewes made from €115/head up to €158/head. Moreover, breeding rams sold from between €175/head and €450/head.

Sample lamb prices:

  • 11 ewe lambs – weighing 43kg sold for €135/head;
  • Nine ewe lambs – weighing 41kg sold for €188/head;
  • Four ewe lambs – weighing 41kg sold for €117/head;
  • Five ewe lambs – weighing 45kg sold for €110/head;
  • Nine ewe lambs – weighing 41kg sold for €103/head.

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