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Watch: top of €4,200 at Elphin Mart special in-calf sale
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Watch: top of €4,200 at Elphin Mart special in-calf sale

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There was strong attendance at Friday evening’s sale for an entry of 48 in-calf heifers, all with continental breeding.
There was strong attendance at Friday evening’s sale for an entry of 48 in-calf heifers, all with continental breeding.

There was a packed ringside at Friday night’s special in-calf heifer sale held in Elphin Mart, Roscommon. Patrons were split between local farmers attending to get a glimpse of the trade and buyers from most parts of Ireland, with a number of buyers from Ulster and in particular Donegal looking to source heifers with strong beef credentials.

The sale did not disappoint those attending for this target with heifers from the vendor Martin O’Connor comprising a mixture of large-farmed Charolais, Limousin, Simmental and Belgian Blue cross animals, many of which weighed in excess of 750kg liveweight. The majority of heifers were scanned in-calf to the AI bulls Elderberry Galahad or EBY, Wilodge Joskins or LM2188, Castleview Gringo ET or GWO and Castleview Gazelle or ZAG while there were a number of heifers bred with sexed semen and carrying heifer calves to the Simmental bull KEZ. Heifers were vaccinated for Lepto and IBR and screened negative for Johnes, BVD and Neospora.

There were two heifers which were shown during 2017 and it was the pick of these, a huge Charolais x Simmental cross heifer bred from a son of CF52 and a Simmental dam with nice Simmental markings and weighing 1,040kg, that realised the top price of €4,200. This heifer, born 3 February 2015, was due to calve on 1 December to the Limousin AI sire EBY.

The second halter-trained show heifer was a black Limousin weighing 785kg that was due to calve on 17 February also to EBY and she sold for €2,800. She was not the second highest priced heifer on the night, however, with six heifers selling from €3,000 to €3,280. These were a mixture of super-quality heifers, with a couple of black Limousins, a red Limousin and a Blonde heifer with super length and a couple of top-quality Simmental x Charolais cross heifers with Simmental markings.

This muscled Limousin heifer with her time up since 6 November to ZAG weighed 805kg and was born 21/3/15. She sold for €1,920.

This Charolais cross heifer weighing 745kg and born 30/3/15 is due to calve on 16 November to GWO. She sold for €2,400.

Average price

There was only one heifer entered which went unsold – a beefy 815kg Charolais heifer that was bid to €1,680 but not sold. This left the average price at €2,248.50. A quick analysis of prices shows six heifers selling between €3,000 and €3,280, eight selling from €2,400 and €2,800 and 16 heifers between €2,000 and €2,280. The best-selling heifers were those with good conformation and colour with red and black Limousin heifers, blue grey Limousin heifers and Charolais x Simmental cross heifers with Simmental markings most in demand.

Very well-bred orange and yellow Charolais heifers and muscled Belgian Blue heifers were the hardest sold in general, with a number of these types among the lowest prices. There were 10 heifers which sold between €1,800 and €1,950, while the six lowest-priced heifers sold between €1,520 and €1,720.

See more pictures and prices from the sale in our photo gallery at the top of this page.

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