The Irish Farmers Journal made a rare off-peak visit to Iveragh Co-operative Mart for its fortnightly cattle sale on Tuesday last.

Most of the suckler systems in the Cahersiveen catchment area are summer or autumn calving, so the mart tends to be quieter until mid-summer.

Speaking after the sale, mart manager Mike Kissane was pleased with how things went.

“I’m happy enough with how things went. The last of the housed cattle were out today. It’s that time of year where things are very quiet for us.

“Most suckler farmers are either looking at doing silage or getting ready for calving, so our main sale period would really kick off in July.”

Cows made up a good proportion of what was on offer and there was probably a stronger demand for dry cows compared with those in-calf.

All beef-cross cow prices varied from €2/kg up to €2.70/kg. There was good demand and the better-quality cows were making good money, usually from €2.50/kg upwards.

Probably telling of the time, there appeared to be a much stronger demand for dry cows than in-calf sucklers.

Factory demand for processing beef continues and this translated itself ringside.


Included in this week’s sale was a clearance of in-calf suckler cows. In-calf to a Limousin bull, they were due to calve in July and August.

Ranging in price from €1,150 to €2,170, the herd of continental cows averaged €1,700.

There was a small selection of weanlings on offer and bulls with decent shape and over or within sight of 300kg sold best. Prices of between €3 and €3.30/kg were available for them and all were sold to the home market. Trade for heifer weanlings was slightly back on that of bulls.

Rain in the southwest proved challenging for farmers in the Iveragh peninsula, but a solid demand for cattle proved to be a shining light.

“Even though it was a difficult spring down here, I suppose the one positive was that the beef price held up.

“Since Christmas, we had good prices and that kept people going when the weather was making it tough.

“Those prices meant that our customers kept coming back and were willing to pay for good-quality cattle.

“A share of them are in the northeast and Leinster and they appreciate the type of cattle bred here in south Kerry,” said Mike.

Sales at the south Kerry mart will continue fortnightly, with the next sale due on 18 June, followed by its annual weanling show and sale on 2 July.

A big day in the mart’s calendar, the sale usually has between 300 and 400 weanlings and is a good bell weather for the autumn trade nationally.

In pictures

This August 2023-born Charolais-cross heifer weighed 320kg and sold for €900 (€2.81/kg).

This August 2023-born Charolais-cross heifer weighed 385kg and sold for €1,100 (€2.86/kg).

This August 2016-born Simmental-cross cow due to calf in July to a Limousin bull weighed 1,005kg and sold for €2,170 (€2.16/kg).

This November-2020-born Charolais-cross cow weighed 630kg and sold for €1,780 (€2.83/kg).

This August 2023-born bull weighed 320kg and sold for €1,040 (€3.25/kg).

This September 2023-born Limosuin-cross bull weighed 360kg and sold for €1,160 (€3.22/kg).

This June 2023-born Limousin-cross bull weighed 370kg and sold for €1,200 (€3.24/kg).

This October 2023-born Limousin-cross bull weighed 332kg and sold for €1,000 (€3.01/kg).

This January 2016-born Belgian Blue-cross cow weighed 825kg and sold for €1,900 (€2.30/kg).

This January 2023-born Charolais-cross heifer weighed 400kg and sold for €1,010 (€2.52/kg).

This August 2014-born Limousin-cross cow weighed 805kg and sold for €1,980 (€2.46/kg).

This August 2019-born Limousin-cross cow weighed 580kg and sold for €1,510 (€2.60/kg).

This August 2016-born Limousin-cross cow weighed 725kg and sold for €2,000 (€2.76/kg).

This March 2016-born Shorthorn-cross cow weighed 560kg and sold for €1,130 (€2.02/kg).

This August 2015-born Charolais-cross cow weighed 735kg and sold for €1,760 (€2.39/kg).