After what was a crazy finale to commercial calf sales in 2022, the first opportunity for farmers to get their hands on show-type calves was no different at the special Belgian Blue weanling show and sale in Gort Mart on Thursday night.
@farmersjournal @FJBeef at a packed ringside in Gort this evening where quality appears to be second to none ? this @irishlimousin - cross heifer born in April 2022 and weighing 305kg sold for a massive €4,540 (€14.89/kg). ???? pic.twitter.com/sT1NJYWHpB— Shanon Kinahan (@_shanonkinahan_) March 9, 2023
Despite hazardous snow conditions, sellers travelled from all over the west of Ireland to bring their Belgian Blue weanlings to this special show and sale, with all sorts of purchasers active from 19 counties across Ireland from Cork to Derry.
Sale is still flying in Gort this evening????This Belgian Blue- cross heifer born in March 2022 and weighing 390kg sold for €1,980 (€5.08/kg). pic.twitter.com/RKktMC3KVH— Shanon Kinahan (@_shanonkinahan_) March 9, 2023
A familiar phrase on the night, auctioneers sang “give it to me again” as the real top future show-type animals reached highs of almost €15/kg.
The top-priced animal on the night was a Belgian Blue-cross heifer weighing 455kg that sold for €4,800 (€10.55/kg), with the highest price per kilo being paid for a Limousin-cross heifer weighing 305kg that sold for €4,540 (€14.89/kg).
The Belgian Blue heifers in the 300kg to 400kg category averaged at €4.63/kg, while heifers in the 400kg to 500kg category averaged at €4.25/kg.
Limousin-cross heifers in the 300kg to 400kg weight range averaged at €4.28/kg and Limousin heifers in the 400kg to 500kg category averaged at €4.25/kg, with hardly any females selling below €3.20/kg.
The weather conditions certainly aren’t keeping buyers away from the ring in Gort tonight! This Belgian Blue- cross heifer calf born in April 2022 and weighing 355kg sold for €3,080 (€8.68/kg) ?????? we haven’t even seen the prize winners yet ?? @FJBeef pic.twitter.com/q9rzU1lflu— Shanon Kinahan (@_shanonkinahan_) March 9, 2023
In the weanling bull ring, the top price was a Belgian Blue-cross bull weighing 560kg that sold for €2,300 (€4.11/kg) and the top price per kilo was paid for a first-prizewinner weighing 470kg that sold for €2,200 (€4.68/kg).
Belgian Blue weanling bulls in the 300kg to 400kg weight category averaged at €3.91/kg, while those in the 400kg to 500kg category averaged at €3.42/kg.
Limousin-cross bulls in the 300kg to 400kg weight range typically averaged around €3.30/kg, while Limousin-cross heifers averaged at €3.13/kg.
Almost 30 of these bulls secured in excess €4.00/kg, with the majority of the remaining lots securing well above the €3.00/kg mark.
Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal after the sale, mart manager Bernie Fahey said: “We are delighted with another excellent sale here in Gort.
"Even though we had the challenge of the poor weather conditions, the sale was very successful and we are very grateful to our dedicated buyers and sellers that came out tonight.
"We are also really looking forward to our special Limousin show and sale next Thursday 16 March.”
@farmersjournal @FJBeef have landed in a very cold Gort and the sale is off to a flying start! This Belgian Blue- cross heifer born in January 2022 and weighing 335kg sold for €1,290 (€3.85/kg). pic.twitter.com/Jf6DGqq2fu— Shanon Kinahan (@_shanonkinahan_) March 9, 2023