The old adage that a week is a long time in politics could equally apply to calf sales if the sale in Bandon Mart was anything to go by on Monday this week.

A week ago, you would have purchased about 75% of Angus and Hereford calves for €20 either side of €200.

Something must have happened to create extra optimism, because there was a serious change in buyer mind-set over the last seven days.

A high proportion of those traditional beef breed crosses originating from British Friesian herds were making from €240 to €320.

Those lighter calves of the same crosses or those from Jersey-cross herds were back at around the €150 to €220 range.

Usually, there would be more of a defined difference between what the traditional beef-cross and the continental calf make, but that was rarer this week, with a lift in demand for Angus and Herefords.


Friesian bull calves were scarce and that could be seen in the price range for them. It was one of tightest price brackets of the spring.

Most Friesian bull calves under six weeks sold from €90 to €130, with a small number making €10 to €20 either side of this.

There was a bit more available for the older Friesian bull calf. Even a small selection of Jersey-cross bulls came into that price range, but they were a bit over the six weeks.

Solid trade for stronger calves

Similar to the rest of this spring's calf sales, there were stronger calves presented at the mart and they met a very solid trade.

There was just under 1,000 calves on offer in Bandon Mart on Monday, making it the first time since early February that calf numbers were in triple digits.

Numbers were back slightly on last week, but looking back at the figures for the last few years, the amount of calves coming out in late April is at its lowest in the last five years.

Perhaps it reflects on the further tightening of the calving pattern on dairy farms, as farmers try to maximise the amount of time cows spend at grass.

In pictures

These one-month-old Hereford heifers averaged €220 each.

This trio of Belgian Blue bulls made €355 each.

This pair of six-week-old Charolais bull calves sold for €320.

This pair of five-week-old Angus bull calves sold for €315 each.

This pair of one-month-old bull calves made €120 each.

This one-month-old Friesian bull calf sold for €140.

Coming up on three weeks of age, this pair of Hereford heifers averaged €280.

These one-month-old Angus bulls made €225 each.

This pair of six-week-old Hereford bull calves sold for €270 each.

Coming up on six weeks old, this Hereford heifer sold for €310.

This pair of six-week-old bull calves sold for €280.

At eight weeks of age, this group of Jersey bull calves averaged €95.

This pair of AI-bred Friesian heifers had an average EBI of 150 and made €400 each.

This group of six-week-old bull calves sold for an average of €120 each.

This trio of four-week-old Angus bulls sold for an average of €320.

This five-week-old bull calf sold for €220.

These one-month-old Angus heifers sold for €300/head.

This pair of one-month-old Angus bull calves sold for €315 each.

€250 was the selling price of this six-week-old Hereford heifer.

These five-week-old Angus bulls made €205/head.