Last Thursday, Gortatlea Mart hosted a special sale for former Better Farm programme farmer Donal Scully, Banogue, Co Limerick, who dispersed his entire suckler herd.

A change in farming system meant that 70 cows with calves at foot, along with 20 maiden heifers, were offered for sale.

Speaking after the sale, mart manager Maurice Brosnan said: “Trade was very buoyant throughout, with a near-100% clearance rate.

“A lot of the cattle exceeded expectations on price and it was great to see them better-quality lots making more money.”

This three-year-old first-cross Limousin cow sold with her August-born Limousin heifer calf for €2,100.

First-cross cows

The majority of cows on offer were first-cross from the dairy herd and sold with calves at foot.

Many of these one-month-old calves were sired by AI bulls such as Fiston, LM4217, ZAG and AA4088.

Any young stock not sired by AI was sired by the herd’s five-star Limousin stock bull.

These pairings sold up to €2,660, which was paid for a Limousin with a Salers calf at foot.

Prices generally didn’t start lower than €1,700, with the majority of better lots on offer exceeding €2,000.

There were five cows with spring-born calves and these made the upper of the prices.

Prices for maiden heifers went as high as €1,400. This was hit twice; first was a 565kg Charolais (€2.48/kg) and then a Salers heifer that weighed 595kg (€2.35/kg).

This five-year-old Limousin cow sold alongside her July-born Limousin bull calf for €1,980.

Weanling sale

Next Wednesday, Gortatlea will be hosting its special weanling heifer show and sale, with a special suckler show and sale following on the Thursday. This sale will consist of nearly 200 top-quality suckler cows and heifers.

This three-year-old Limousin cow by ZAG sold with her Limousin-sired heifer calf for €2,080.

This six-year-old Angus cow by AI bull KYA sold with her July-born Charolais heifer calf by Fiston for €2,060.

This four-year-old first-cross cow by Limousin bull ZAG sold with her July-born Limousin bull calf for €2,200.

This seven year old first cross Limousin cow with July born Limousin heifer calf at foot sold for €1,980