Granard Mart, Co Longford, hosts its weekly weanling sale on Monday evenings. This week’s sale saw over 70 weanlings go through the ring, with a great demand for quality continental calves.
Heifers were back a little on recent weeks according to mart manager Jody Reilly.
Heavier weanling heifers over 350kg sold for an average of €2.45/kg, with some dairy-bred heifers in this group bringing the average down.
Some of the top suckler-bred heifers sold for €2.65/kg.
“The grass scarcity in this area has hit our weanling trade in the last month,” Jody said.
“A lot of farmers had to put cattle back in, including myself.”
Lighter heifers saw a similar trade, with any heifer under 300kg making €2/kg, while the top heifers in this weight bracket made close to €2.40/kg.
Dairy heifers saw a stiffer trade, with these selling for €1.65/kg to €1.90/kg.
“Our area is a big dairy area where we get large numbers of dairy heifers and this time of year the plainer ones come out.
“Numbers have really slackened back in recent weeks. It’s always the same in June and July before we get busy again with weanlings in autumn,” Jody said.
Bulls saw a strong trade considering the weather and time of year.
Some of the top Charolais and Limousin continental bulls hit €2.85/kg, with an average of €2.45/kg for bull calves in the 30kg to -400kg category.
Top price went to a Charolais bull calf weighing 390kg that sold for €1,100 (€2.85/kg).
Dairy-bred bulls weren’t as hot, with these seeing an average of €1.80/kg, with the better calves of these dairy-bred cattle making up to €2.10/kg.
There was less appetite for the heavy bull, with bulls weighing over 500kg seeing a tough trade on the night.
Some of these poorer dairy bulls were making €1.50/kg on average. However, continental bulls in this category saw prices up to €1.95/kg.
Bulls weighing 400kg to 500kg saw a better trade, with some of these hitting €2.85/kg and the lesser dairy-bred bulls in this category seeing prices from €2/kg to €2.15/kg.
“The price of bulls in the factory is doing well and we have a couple of specialised bull finishers who would buy that good continental calf.
“If these farmers are getting €1,600-€1,700 for young bulls, it means they are strong when they are back around the ring replacing them,” Jody said.