On Saturday last (March 27) Agriland made the trip to Mountbellew Mart to cast an eye over the trade at the Galway-based mart.

A strong showing of cull ewes and ewes with lambs at foot were on offer on the day, as well as a handful of pens of spring lambs and just under two rows of hoggets.

The trade for cull ewes and ewes with lambs at foot, as well as a couple of standout pens of ewe hoggets, were the highlight of the sale.

To see what the mart’s auctioneer had to say about the trade, Agriland spoke to Padraig Naughton after the closing of the sale.

He said: “As usual we started with the cull ewes and there was an excellent trade for these lots.

“The top price was €188 for a 113.5kg ewe. We saw another great price of €172/head for two 97kg ewes as well. Many of those fleshed ewes sold from €130 up to €160.

Then moving onto the hoggets, we saw a similar trade to last week. We had a good few farmer customers looking for ewe hoggets with breeding potential.

“Two pens that stood out were four ewe hoggets that sold for €176/head and weighed 61.3kg, while a pen of 14 44kg ewe hoggets sold for a smashing price of €160/head.

“Overall, hoggets were a good, steady trade. There wasn’t quite as good quality hoggets out this week; prices have fallen of late.

“You saw there for the heavier hoggets you could have ones there at 60kg making €155 while you could have ones at 45kg making €150; so you’re not being rewarded for the extra 10-15kg.

“The spring lamb trade wasn’t that hot, but numbers were small and it’s still early days yet.

“Lastly, there was plenty of activity for ewes with lambs at foot. Grass is starting to come and farmers are eager to buy. The top price we saw there was €320 for a ewe with two very strong lambs.”