Sixmilebridge Mart in Co Clare held its annual weanling show and sale on Saturday last in conjunction with its general cattle sale.

Joe Clune, who recently replaced outgoing mart manager Sean Ryan, reported on a lively trade which saw top-quality weanlings record prices of €2.70/kg to €3.00/kg and higher on occasion.

This Charolais-cross heifer born 3 December 2020 and weighing 374kg sold for €870 (€2.33/kg).

Joe said: “It has been a positive few weeks for the mart. We had a special beef sale at the end of August to mark the mart’s 10 years trading as a farmer co-operative and the optimism generated for that sale carried forward to the weanling sale.

“Farmers who traded beef cattle on the day were relatively happy and are now out again looking to replenish stocks.”

This prizewinning Charolais-cross weanling heifer weighing 388kg and born 8 January 2021 sold for €1,120 (€2.87/kg).

Numbers of weanlings appearing in sales are running below normal levels for the time of year, with positive grass supplies and good ground conditions encouraging farmers to delay sales, which is likely to lead to a busier period of trading in October.

This also fuelled higher competition, along with specialist bull beef finishers being more active of late.

This Limousin-cross weanling heifer weighing 298kg and born on 2 February 2021 sold for €820 (€2.75/kg).

Bulls weighing 400kg to 470kg sold from €2/kg to €2.15/kg upwards for plainer-quality types, with top-quality U grading bulls with age on their side in terms of a 16-month bull-beef production system selling from €1,150 to €1,280 or from €2.50/kg to €2.80/kg.

There were more farmer buyers for lighter bulls weighing 300kg to 380kg.

This strong Charolais-cross heifer weighing 420kg and born on 18 January 2021, sold for €1,000 (€2.38/kg).

R grading bulls ranged in price from €2.30/kg to €2.55/kg on average, with U grades again rising to €2.80/kg and select lots of prizewinners and excellent-quality types rising to and exceeding €3/kg.

This Belgian Blue-cross heifer weighing 338kg and born on 8 March 2021 sold for €1,040 (€3.08).

There was a similar price trend for weanling heifers, with a selection of prizewinners and well-conformed, coloured heifers with potential for breeding show-quality progeny selling in excess of €3/kg.

The general sale included a special entry of about 30 in-calf heifers and a good showing of continental store cattle.

This first-prizewinning Charolais-cross bull weighing 470kg and born 12 February 2021 sold for €1,350 (€2.87/kg).

The quality of in-calf heifers on offer was mixed, with plainer-quality types not calving until well into 2022 ranging from €1,100 to €1,400 on average, while better-quality types ranged from €1,300 to €1,700 and a top of €1,980.

This quality Charolais-cross bull weanling weighing 338kg and born on 14 February 2021 sold for €1,060 (€3.14/kg).

Store bullocks and heifers weighing in the region of 480kg to 540kg traded from €2.20/kg to €2.50/kg for good-quality R+ and U grading types with age on their side, with the highest prices rising to €2.60/kg to €2.70/kg on a number of occasions for quality types.

Other lots

This roan-coloured Belgian Blue-cross weanling bull born 5 January 2021 and weighing 360kg sold for €1,000 (€2.78/kg).

This well-conformed Charolais-cross bull weighing 440kg and born on 5 January 2021 sold for €1,240 (€2.82/kg).

This prizewinning Belgian Blue-cross bull weighing 388kg and born on 20 April 2021, sold for €1,000 (€2.56/kg).

A 344kg Limousin-cross bull which was born on 28 February 2021 sold for €880 (€2.59/kg).

A 344kg Limousin-cross bull which was born on 28 February 2021 sold for €880 (€2.59/kg).

This first-prizewinning Belgian Blue-cross bull weanling weighing 425kg and born on 14 January 2021 sold for €1,250 (€2.94/kg).

This nice-quality Charolais-cross weanling bull weighing 314kg and born on 15 March 2021 sold for €900 (€2.87/kg).

This prize-winning Charolais-cross bull weighing 422kg and born on 2 February 2021 sold for €1,250 (€2.96/kg).

This 435kg Limousin-cross weanling bull born on 9 January 2021 sold for €1,100 (€2.53/kg).

This October 2020-born Charolais-cross heifer weighing 396kg sold for €920 (€2.32/kg).

This Limousin-cross weanling heifer weighing 302kg and born on 3 January 2021 sold for €750 (€2.48/kg).

These two top-quality Belgian Blue-cross weanling bulls averaging 375kg and born on 13/1/2021 and 10/1/2021 sold for €1,300 each (€3.47/kg).