COVID-19 has changed the way we go about our lives, none more so than in marts with the advent of online bidding.

Another change to the marts system has been the introduction of timed auctions. They have been growing in popularity over the last 12 months.

Martbids, the Irish Farmers Journal auction sales platform, held its first online timed auction at the weekend in partnership with Drumshanbo Mart and the Trenearla Lanark-type Blackface flock of Michael Ketch in Co Waterford.

Top price

The timed auction saw over 70 sheep sold, with a top price for a two-year-old ewe of €850.

Ewe lambs ranged in price from €155/head to €205/head, with a number of the lots in the sale purchased by farmers in the border counties

The sale opened on Friday evening and prospective bidders had all weekend to bid at their leisure until the sale closed on Sunday night.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Drumshanbo Mart manager Eoin Kane said: “We were delighted with how the sale went.

"It’s been a whirlwind two years for us getting used to all the new technology, but it’s great to be a part of these new technical innovations that are taking place with selling livestock.”

In pictures

This two-year-old ewe scanned carrying a single sold for €800.

This lot of nine ewe lambs sold for €165/head.

This pen of eight ewe lambs sold for €150/head.

This pen of seven ewe lambs sold for €200/head.

This pen of eight ewe lambs sold for €205/head.