Iveragh Co-operative Mart in Caherciveen, Co Kerry, held its autumn-born weanling sale on Tuesday and in a change from the usual weanling trade, demand was strongest for heavy bulls.

Mart manager Mike Kissane said: “We were averaging close to €3/kg for bulls over 400kg and bull weanlings over 500kg averaged €3kg.

“I’m manager here with 34 years and I’ve never seen the likes of it before. Usually, they’d be discounting bulls over 400kg, but now buyers are anxious for the weight.”

Wide differential

Most of the weanlings on offer were born in July and August 2021 and the price difference between top-quality and plainer stock is getting wider.

In contrast to most other years demand was strongest for the heavier weanlings.

Animals over 400kg were making prices per kilo that are usually the preserve of weanlings under 330kg.

Prices from €2.95/kg to €3.50/kg were paid on bulls in the 400kg to 500kg range.

That said, lighter weanlings were holding their own, with an average of €2.85/kg for bulls under 300kg.

There was plainer stock in the 300kg to 400kg bracket and, as a result, the average was back at €2.71/kg.

Quality is important

Mike said: “Quality is important and it’s really being rewarded, but plainer stock just won’t make the same.

“Like, we had one farmer who had five cattle that averaged 513kg and they made €3/kg and he had two plainer animals at 480kg at €2.17/kg.

“That’s €500 of a difference and they came from the same bull, the same land, but the difference was the quality of the cow.

“You’d be sayng there’s a lot of improvements can be made. It’s all about quality – you have buyers for the quality cattle at a good price.

“If farmers are getting rewarded , they might stick at it, but if they’re at plainer stock, they might end up getting out.”

Tougher trade

In comparison to bulls, heifers were a tougher trade. The tops of the sale made in excess of €3kg, but were low in numbers.

The going rate for most heifers was €2.60/kg to €2.70/kg.

Mike Kissane reasoned that most farmers were holding off on heifers until the south Kerry mart’s special heifer sale on 16 August.

The next cattle sale in Caherciveen is on Tuesday 2 August and will run on a fortnightly basis from then.

In pictures

These July 2021-born bulls weighed 405kg and sold for €1,240 (€3.06/kg).

This October 2021-born bull weighed 350kg and sold for €1,010 (€2.89/kg).

This October 2021-born bull weighed 360kg and sold for €1,090 (€3.03/kg).

These September 2021-born bulls weighed 403kg and sold for €1,200 (€2.98/kg).

This July 2021-born bull weighed 440kg and sold for €1,300 (€2.96/kg).

This July 2021-born bull weighed 375kg and sold for €1,040 (€2.77/kg).

These September 2021-born bulls weighed 350kg and sold for €960 (€2.74/kg).

This June 2021-born bull weighed 550kg and sold for €1,540 (€2.80/kg).

This August 2021-born bull weighed 430kg and sold for €1,390 (€3.23/kg).

These July 2021-born bull weighed 478kg and sold for €1,430 (€2.99/kg).

This September 2021-born bull weighed 445kg and sold for €1,320 (€2.97/kg).