It was both a wet and windy day for farmers travelling to Kilcullen Mart to sell cattle on Wednesday (March 10) in Co. Kildare.

Also Read: Pics and prices: Quality stores on offer in Kilcullen Mart

Speaking with AgriLand after this week’s sale, manager Jimmy Walsh gave his views on the cattle trade at the minute and how the animals sold in the Leinster mart on Wednesday. He said:

“It was a good sale today – we had a nice entry and a good mix of cattle this week. We had some very good store cattle through the sale, which we are continuing to get week-on-week.

“We had very few outlying cattle, but of the ones that we had they were certainly in demand and snapped up fairly quickly.

“Funnily enough, some of the outlying cattle were the heavier ones, but that’s something that we see every year – some farmers winter them out and bring them to the mart closer to St. Patrick’s day and they command a premium price.

The cattle in most demand were the store cattle in the 500-600kg range. Customers were watching the farm movements carefully; they didn’t really want to see any more than two or three on the stores.

“Depending on the quality of the bullocks, we were seeing these stores selling from €2.00/kg up to €2.41/kg.

Commenting on the seasonal take-off of the store trade, Jimmy added:

“You have plenty of farmers around here looking to buy value for money cattle. They want big frames of loose bullocks that they can let out and by May 1 have a serious thrive done. Then by around June 1, have fit for the factory.

“They might not be that particular when it comes to buying them either; you will see a range of heavy store cattle selling well and they are not always the most beautiful ones in the sale – but they have the potential to put on plenty of flesh.

“No grazing farmer wants to buy a bullock that has been fed too well. Plus, there is usually quite a tight margin between the cost of a good roomy store bullock to let out and a much heavier finished bullock.

“You will see a bullock making €1,450 and he is weighing 650kg and then a few minutes later you see a bullock that is weighing 520kg making €1,360 – but there are just different customers for different types of cattle.

The farmer that is winning at the moment is the farmer selling the well-presented, not necessarily the well-fleshed bullock; that is between 500-600kg that has the potential to thrive on well and is a true store bullock.

“The heifers were a good trade too, Charolais and Limousin store heifers were selling up to €2.40/kg.

“One of the highlights of the sale were the Angus bullocks and heifers in the 420kg up to 500kg – they were really in keen demand.

“We had very few dry cows which is unusual, but in the weeks previous to this we were seeing cows commanding a great trade in this area,” Jimmy concluded.