On Friday 18 February Loughrea Co-op Mart, Co Galway, held a special show and sale of weanlings, which attracted some top-quality stock from the area.
Trade was brisk throughout the sale, with mart manager Jimmy Cooney commenting that weanling bulls were in big demand on the day from farmer buyers, especially top-quality lots where €2.80/kg to €3/kg was freely available on numerous occasions.
Demand from farmer buyers for grass cattle was strong, despite the stormy weather and heavy rainfall, which will have seen ground conditions taking a turn for the worse.
However, with many farms having built up a lot of grass over the winter months, buyers were keen to secure at least some of their grazing numbers.
Bull weanlings weighing from 300kg to 400kg were trading from €2.55/kg to €2.75/kg for decent-quality types, with more on offer for the top end of the trade.
Farmers working to a certain price range had to move to lighter animals to secure numbers.
The best Charolais-sired bull weanling went to Brian Farrell, Craughwell, for a 415kg animal selling for €1,100 (€2.66/kg).
The best Limousin-sired bull weanling was exhibited by Iggy and Rachel Dolan, Abbey, with a 355kg weanling selling for €1,030 (€2.90/kg).
The best bull weanling sired by any other breed went to Mary Mooney, Kilchreest, for a 410kg weanling selling for €1,100 (€2.68/kg).
Nice-quality heifers of lighter weights from 230kg to 250kg were making over €3/kg, while similar quality weighing 20kg to 40kg more were trading from €2.70/kg to €2.85/kg as some buyers seemed keen to operate at prices around €800 to €850/head.
Weanling heifers were a slightly easier trade compared with the bull weanlings, but where quality lots were forward for sale, they were met with high demand and prices to match.
Winning best Charolais-sired heifer class was Brian Farrell, Craughwell, with a 335kg heifer selling for €1,000 (€2.99/kg), while the best Limousin-sired heifer went to Michael Murray, New Inn, for his 360kg heifer for €990 (€2.75/kg).