July is usually one of the quieter months on the marts scene, but speaking to mart managers around the country, they are reporting higher numbers than usual, especially in the south of the country.

Ballyfofey and Stranorlar Mart, Co Donegal, had a good entry of over 130 head of cattle at last Monday night’s general cattle sale.

Clearance rate was very high, with mart manager Brian Crawford reporting a 96% clearance rate on the night.

Top-quality heavy bullocks all hit over €3.00/kg, with a couple of fancy bullocks coming closer to €3.50/kg.

Top-quality bullocks were in short supply at Monday night’s sale.

Good-quality heifers were a similar trade, with a couple of breeding types crossing the €4/kg mark in the sale.

Forward store heifers

Forward store heifers were all crossing the €3/kg mark, with more money being paid for quality lots.

Plainer Aberdeen Angus and Hereford cattle were back a touch, with a little less appetite for the lighter plainer store evident at Monday night’s sale.

A number of Aberdeen Angus heifers in the 400kg to 500kg weight bracket made from €2.40/kg to €2.80/kg.

Cull cows were a very good trade, with some exceptional prices being paid for heavy well-fleshed continental suckler cows.

“Any good suckler cow is hitting over €2,000, with wholesalers and big feeders especially hungry for cows here on Monday night,” Brian said.

Top call

Suckler outfits also met big demand, with good-quality lots making big money.

Top call on the night went to a Belgian Blue cow with her Limousin calf at foot selling for €2,720.

“Suckler farmers are getting big money in the cull ring for dry suckler cows, so they are willing to spend big when they are replacing that cow.

“We had a couple of genuine suckler outfits in Monday night’s sale and they sold for very good money. Suckler cows might be back in numbers, but farmers all want the good one,” said Brian.

“We’re gearing up for a number of special sheep sales that will take place in the mart from August onwards.

“These include special breeding ewe and lamb sales and pedigree ram sales.”

In pictures

This April 2023 born Charolais heifer weighed 348kg and sold for €970 (€2.79/kg).

This January 2022 born Limousin heifer weighed 646kg and sold for €1,910 (€2.96/kg).

This March 2023 born Limousin heifer weighed 350kg and sold for €1,450 (€4.14/kg).

This April 2023 born Aberdeen Angus heifer weighed 408kg and sold for €980 (€2.40/kg).

This March 2022 born Aberdeen Angus heifer weighed 510kg and sold for €1,400 (€2.74/kg).

This April 2022 born Hereford heifer weighed 642kg and sold for €1,650 (€2.57/kg).

This January 2019 born Charolais cow weighed 778kg and sold for €1,980 (€2.54/kg).

This April 2021 born Limousin cow sold with her September 2023 born heifer calf at foot for €1,980.

This April 2021 born Limousin cow sold with her April 2024 born heifer calf at foot for €1,380.

This September 2020 born Belgian Blue cow sold with her Jan 2024 born Limousin heifer calf at foot for €2,760.

This April 2017 born Simmental stock bull weighed 968kg and sold for €1,840 (€1.90/kg).