The past week has seen some special cull cow sales take place across the country. With fodder a little tight in some areas, farmers have looked at the option of scanning and selling cull cows a little earlier than usual.

However, despite numbers being strong, the cull cow trade continues to be very firm right across the country. Agents and feeder activity for all types of cows remains strong.

Prices are holding steady, with well-fleshed heavy cows fetching the highest prices. Continental fleshed culls continue to sell from €1.80/kg to €1.90/kg, with some U grades and cow/heifers selling to slightly over €2.00/kg. Feeding cows are solid, but not quite as strong as forward cows.

Buyers are actively sourcing younger feeding cows, with a good covering of flesh. These are selling mainly from €1.50/kg to €1.75/kg. Where old cows are being offered for sale, or where very thin suckler cows are coming to the fore, they are making from their weight to €250 along with the weight.

The number of dairy cull cows is rising, but the true flush of volumes is yet to come. Strong milk prices are enticing farmers to milk empty cows on, especially with the current spell of dry weather.

Where cows are coming straight from the parlour, prices are running at €0.90/kg to €1.20/kg. Better-quality cows carrying some condition are selling from €1.20/kg to €1.40/kg, with well-fleshed cows making over €1.50/kg. Where Jersey-crosses are on offer, prices are not quite as buoyant. Thin Jersey cows are selling for anywhere from €150 under to €100 over the weight.