Dairy stock continue to be in demand, with a number of very lively sales taking place over the last few weeks.

Some of these sales have taken place on-farm, with John Tevlins from Ballyjamesduff Mart taking to the country in the last few weeks, with 100% online sales in farmers' yards in Tipperary, Limerick, Cork and Kerry.

The latest sale took place last Saturday in Limerick, where the milking portion of the Ballycannon herd, owned by Pat and Deirdre Shanahan, was dispersed due to health reasons.

Well-known herd

The herd was well known in pedigree Holstein circles, having won the elite spring-calving section of the Limerick-Clare herd competition on numerous occasions.

The herd boasted some impressive performance figures, with a herd average of 8,600 litres at 3.75% fat and 3.29% protein.

The sale included 25 freshly-calved heifers and 32 freshly-calved cows.

Top of the trade

Topping the trade was lot 30, a February 2019-born first-calved heifer hammered down at €4,200.

This cow family caught some attention on the day, with the dam of lot 30, a 2016-born cow selling for €3,650 - both from the Silk cow family.

Next-highest call was for lot 9, another first-calved heifer from the Silk family, which was knocked down at €3,800.

The sale achieved a 100% clearance, with a sale average of €2,600/head for 59 animals sold.

Northern Ireland demand

A big driver in the dairy trade in the last few weeks has been the Northern Ireland (NI) demand for milkers.

Eighteen out of the 59 stock at Saturday’s sale - or 30% of the animals - were exported to NI.

Commenting on the sale, Ballyjamesduff Mart manager John Tevlin said: “There is a serious NI appetite for stock, with over 50% of some of our recent on-farm sales heading north.

"Our next on-farm sale is in Mayo on Wednesday night, where 73 maiden heifers imported from Denmark are up for grabs and the team head to Ballacolla in Co Laois on 9 April for a 100-head milking herd dispersal.”

In pictures

This February 2019-born first-calved heifer sold for €4,200.

This February 2019-born first-calved heifer was sold for €4,000.

This January 2019-born first-calved heifer sold for €3,400.

This March 2016-born cow was sold for €3,650.

This February 2019-born first-calved heifer was knocked down at €3,800.