Marts are gearing up for the busy autumn period of weanling sales across the country. September and October are always the peak months for weanling sales. Some of the early sales in the south and west have been encouraging, with purchasers willing to go that extra bit for quality.

Seeing quality weanlings make good money is always encouraging for the suckler farmer. Finishers have been getting on well with finished cattle coming off grass over the past few months and these finishers are strong clients when it comes to putting their finger up around the ring to restock again.

This week, we took a look at 2021 and 2022 prices on the MartBids database to see how they compare. While prices are up for all categories of stock, some of the increases have been pretty minimal when you factor in the increased input costs that have been incurred on suckler farms in 2022.

Obviously, finishers are also watching costs and doing budgets on what they can afford to pay. Buyers appear a little less confident about longer-keep lighter cattle and processor antics over the last three weeks will do very little to inspire confidence in a broken winter finishing system.

I was talking to a bull finisher this week who is at his wit’s end trying to get answers out of factories on a winter finishing price. He is looking at investing €400,000 on 200 bulls and yet can’t get a factory to give him any indication on price.

Factories’ unwillingness to take on at least some of the risk should be highlighted

Darren Carty takes a look at the latest animal identification and movements report from the Department of Agriculture and analyses a changing landscape for animal movements in Ireland. Tommy Moyles was in Macroom Mart for this year’s opening weanling sale which saw some fancy prices for fancy weanlings.