While many farmers operating calf-to-beef systems have a tendancy to purchase their calves earlier in the year dung March and April, significant numbers of late calves are still on offer, along with earlier calves only being sold now, at weekly sales in livestock marts across the country.

The major talking points in marts countrywide currently, is the trade for forward cattle and cull cows.

Meanwhile, the calf trade is rumbling on in the background, offering farmers an opportunity to get into numbers of cattle on a more long-term investment but a lower cost per head nonetheless.

Here’s a sample of some of the calves that were on offer at Ballyjamesduff Mart’s weekly calf sale last Wednesday:

Speaking to Agriland on the day of the sale, Ballyjamesduff Mart’s manager, John Tevlin, noted there were 132 calves on offer and a 100% clearance on the day.

Marts online activity

Commenting on the effect of online activity on the current trade, Tevlin explained: “Buyers and sellers are allowed back in the marts but many are choosing to watch the sale online.

“Sellers are opting to watch their cattle go through the ring online and can continue work in the fields as is going on at this time of year.

“Buyers are coming and viewing cattle and then are going home to bid. Many buyers are even covering a couple of marts at the same time and buyers from further afield are happy to buy online without viewing.

“Having our mart online is proving to be a great help to the trade,” Tevlin noted.

Trade forecast

Commenting on the forecasted trade for the back end of the year, Tevlin noted: “There’s a lot of fodder being made at the minute and sentiment is good in the beef trade currently.

“Farmers traditionally will buy cattle once they have feeding and any farmers selling cattle at the minute are getting on well, so trade for the back end of the year is looking positive.”

Concluding, the Ballyjamesduff Mart manager expressed optimism for a good trade into the back end of the year: “The feel good factor is there and farmers are happy with the prices.”