Cork Marts Dungarvan held its weekly cattle sale on Monday 4 March, with roughly 375 cattle on offer.

Poor weather conditions in recent weeks have continued to hamper the numbers coming forward for sale. However, numbers are beginning to improve slightly as we push forward into the spring.

A busy ringside had buyers biting at the bit to secure the lots on offer, resulting in a 97% clearance at Monday’s sale.

Store cattle met a steady trade and purchasers were keen on trying to secure all types of forward and factory-fit cattle, with the top call of €1,650 being paid for a Limousin-cross cow weighing 800kg.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal after the sale, mart manager Kevin Casey said: “The bad weather is having an impact on the numbers of 2023-born store cattle coming forward for sale, but the trade for short-keep cattle is quite positive. Numbers are increasing all the time and we expect this to continue over the next few weeks.”

Cow trade

The cow trade remained fairly positive in Dungarvan on Monday, with better-quality cows demanding higher prices.

Friesian cows in the 500kg to 600kg weight range typically averaged from €1.40/kg to €1.50/kg, while a number of beefier-type cows pushed on to €2.50/kg, which was achieved for a Simmental-cross cow weighing 520kg.

Heavier cows ranging from 600kg to 700kg attracted higher prices, with the top call coming for a Limousin cow weighing 665kg that sold for €1,360 (€2.05/kg).

A select number of continental-sired cows in this section averaged just below €1.85/kg, while Friesian cows hovered just behind this at €1.65/kg.

Steady bullock trade

The trade for bullocks at Monday’s sale remained steady, in particular for the lots from suckler-bred dams.

In the 300kg to 400kg weight range, store bullocks off traditional sires peaked at €2.92/kg for an Aberdeen Angus-cross weighing 350kg and next best was a Charolais-cross weighing 307kg that sold for €860.

Slightly heavier bullocks in the 400kg to 500kg weight range saw Angus-cross bullocks average at €2.60/kg, while first-cross Belgian Blue bullocks averaged €2.45/kg, followed by Friesians from €2.10/kg to €2.15/kg.

Some of the better prices were paid for bullocks weighing from 500kg to 600kg, topped by an Angus-cross bullock weighing 540kg that sold for €1,560 (€2.89/kg) and followed by a Charolais-cross weighing 580kg that sold for €1,640 (€2.83/kg).

In pictures

This pen of seven Charolais-cross bullocks born in September 2023 and weighing 307kg sold for €860 (€2.80/kg).

This pen of 12 Angus-cross heifers born in January 2022 and weighing 540kg sold for €1,560 (€2.89/kg).

This pen of three Angus-cross bullocks born in March 2022 and weighing 508kg sold for €1,180 (€2.32/kg).

This Charolais-cross bullock born in June 2022 and weighing 580kg sold for €1,640 (€2.83/kg).

This pen of three Charolais-cross heifers born in June and September 2023 and weighing 218kg sold for €620 (€2.84/kg).

This pen of five Angus-cross heifers born in February 2023 and weighing 317kg sold for €820 (€2.59/kg).

This pair of Hereford-cross heifers born in March 2022 and weighing 465kg sold for €1,200 (€2.58/kg).

This pen of three Hereford-cross heifers born in February and March 2022 and weighing 458kg sold for €1,180 (€2.58/kg).

This Friesian-cross heifer born in February 2022 and weighing 440kg sold for €930 (€2.11/kg).

This pen of five Belgian Blue-cross heifers born in February 2023 and weighing 201kg sold for €530 (€2.64/kg).

This pair of Charolais-cross bullocks born in February 2022 and weighing 545kg sold for €1,540 (€2.83/kg).