Young cows and heifers commanding high prices

The tail end of 2020 saw dairy stock in high demand in marts and sales across the country, with heifers and young cows commanding the highest prices.

With the spring-calving season starting on many farms and many others on the verge of starting, the upcoming sales may be the last change to purchase or sell milking stock.


On Friday (January 22), Waterford-Ross mart held a large dairy sale with 95 animals on offer on the day.

AgriLand spoke with the mart’s manager, Richard Kirwan, to get an insight on the trade of cattle that sold by the ‘Model County’ based mart.

Speaking on the sale, Richard said: ”There was high demand for all the categories, with all stock being sold on the day. Top price of the day went to a freshly calved heifer at €2,150.

”In-calf young cows and heifers were in highest demand. The high demand made it one of the most expensive dairy sales that I have seen in my time at the mart.”

Sample prices from the sale: 
  • Calved heifers: €1,400 – €2,150;
  • Calved cows: €1,250 – €1,800;
  • In-calf heifers: €1,100 – €1,850;
  • In-calf cows: €1,000 – €1,525;
  • Maiden heifers: €725 – €900.

Carnew Mart

There was also high demand for young cows and heifers at Carnew Mart, as the Wicklow-based mart held its first dairy sale of 2021 last Thursday (January 21), with a freshly calved heifer topping the market on the day at €1,860.

The sale had over 100 head of cattle on offer, ranging from cows in milk to heifer calves.

Speaking on the sale mart manager, David Quinn stated: ”There was excellent demand for all stock leading to a full clearance on the day.”

Sample prices achieved on the day: 
  • Freshly calved heifers: €1,400 – €1,860;
  • In-calf heifers: €1,100 – €1,680;
  • Freshly calved cows: €900 – €1,550;
  • In-calf cows: €850 – €1,300;
  • Maiden heifers: €780 – €980;
  • Heifer calves: €400 – €470.