The weanling trade continues to perform very strongly in marts around the country , with a combination of exporter and farmer activity driving on the trade.
Gortatlea Mart was jammed with cattle last Wednesday evening, with the big numbers having no impact on the trade.
Kerry is well known for its quality weanlings and last Wednesday’s show and sale was no exception, with some unreal quality coming through in the weanling heifer section.
The overall champion of the pre-sale show was an October 2022-born Belgian Blue heifer weighing 390kg and selling for €3,020.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Gortatlea Mart manager Maurice Brosnan said: “There’s always great appetite for the real good heifer weanling, with suckler farmers and in-calf heifer operators competing for the top end heifers all the time.
“I see fellas getting over €2,000/head for cull cows in the last two weeks and they have a very strong hand to go back to the ring to replace them.”
Wednesday’s sale saw a rise in price to the tune of €40 to €60/head on the previous week, with top-quality heifers in the 300kg to 400kg weight bracket hitting over €3/kg.
Prizewinners and show quality weanlings were in the €4/kg to €8/kg money bracket.
Average-quality Limousin and Charolais heifers around the 300kg mark were trading for €800 to €900/head.
There was a big entry in the reared dairy beef calf section, with spring 2023-born Hereford and Aberdeen Angus bulls and heifers making between €400 and €600/head, depending on weight and quality.
A smaller entry of bull weanlings also met good demand, with top-end 300kg to 400kg continental bulls hitting €3.80/kg on several occasions.
Gortatlea Mart holds its weekly calf and weanling sales on Wednesdays, along with its general cattle sale on Fridays.
This week sees a special suckler show and sale take place on Thursday 7 September.