Cork Mart’s annual December dairy sale in Corrin Mart, Fermoy, took place last Friday, with exceptional trade throughout.
In total, 136 lots went under the hammer, with all but one finding a new home. Prices for the 135 in-calf dairy heifers ranged from €900 to €1,920, with the average price falling just shy of €1,500.
Speaking after the sale, mart manager Sean Leahy said: “It was definitely the most consistently strong annual December dairy sale since I started back in 2012. I’ve seen bigger prices other years, but, overall, this was the strongest.
“We have a massive spread of buyers, with great interest online. Most of the top-end heifers ended up being bought online based solely on figures. Those with milk-recorded dams and high EBIs were the highest prices on the day.”
The sale has become an annual retreat for many, with some farmers buying a couple of replacements each year.
The really good lots on offer allows breeders to secure outcross genetics to boost the generic merit of the herd, while the sale also saw a number of buyers securing replacements due to TB outbreaks within herds, which may have led to the milking herd dropping below usual numbers.
Included in the sale were heifer offerings from 17 different herds from right across Munster. As the mart manager alluded to, demand was strongest for well-grown heifers with milk-recorded dams showing in excess of 550kg of milk solids.
The top price of €1,920 was actually hit on two occasions. First at the money was a January 2019-born pedigree heifer.
Carrying an EBI index of €176, it sold calving late January to an AI Friesian bull. The dam came with a projected 305-day lactation of 9,310kg, of which 355kg were protein.
Matching her at the money was a February 2019 pedigree heifer.
Sired by Pinterault, she carried an EBI of €181. Expecting her first in February, she had a protein figure of 7%.
Two heifers hit the €1,900. First at the money was a January 2019-born heifer, again carrying pedigree status.
Sired by Sterk Kiss Kyteman, she carried an EBI of €157. Again backed by a proven mother, her dam was expected to produce over 9,000kg in her current lactation with over 300kg of these protein.
The second to make €1,900 was one of the last lots through the ring. This pedigree heifer was born in February 2019 and carried an EBI of €178. Calving in February, her dam recorded milk solids of nearly 700kg in her third lactation.