July always marks the start of the special autumn-born weanling sales in the south of the country, with Iveragh Mart in Cahirciveen, Co Kerry, generally being first out of the blocks with the first weanling sales.

Kerry has a proud tradition of producing quality weanlings, with a high percentage of farmers using AI in autumn-calving systems.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Iveragh Mart manager Mike Kissane said: “Trade was solid right throughout the day and we had big numbers in the mart.

“Top-quality heavy weanlings over 400kg were hitting €1,200 regularly, which is great to see. We have the same customers coming back every year to this sale. They see the value in the good cattle.”


Across the country, the weanling trade has steadied this week, with more autumn-born weanlings also starting to appear in all marts.

Clare Marts general manager Martin McNamara said: “I can see farmers shifting weanlings a little earlier this year, with many farmers going to be reluctant to fill creep feeders with ration at €500/t.

“We are seeing some November calves appearing already in our marts. Other years it would have been August before these late autumn-born calves would appear.”

In the bullock category, plainer cattle continue to come under pressure, with Friesian bullocks back to the tune of €80 to €120/head in the last couple of weeks.

Friesian bullocks in the 400kg to 500kg category are generally are being bought at €1.90/kg to €2.10/kg, while good-quality Aberdeen Angus and Hereford bullocks are being bought from €2.30/kg to €2.40/kg, again depending on weight and type.

Lesser-quality traditional-bred bullocks are being bought at €2.10/kg to €2.30/kg. Heavier continental bullocks closer to finish are still a solid trade and while back in price from where they were a month ago, they are still coming in at €2.50/kg to €2.70/kg.

On the heifer side, the top third of heifers are making between €2.80/kg and €2.96/kg, with average heifers back at €2.40/kg to €2.70/kg.

Poorer-quality dairy-crossbred heifers are back at €2.10/kg to €2.40/kg.

Dry cows

Dry cows had a pretty steady week this week, with good appetite for cows from factory agents around mart rings. A big gap has opened up between top-quality cows and lesser-quality Friesians.

Good-quality heavy cows are still hitting prices of €2.50/kg to €2.80/kg, depending on weight and type, while poorer Friesian cows are being bought from €1.20/kg to €1.50/kg.

Looking at this week’s MartBids analysis table, it’s a mix of red and green arrows, with more red, indicating a slight reduction in the mart trade this week.

The top end of weanling bulls in the 300kg to 400kg bracket are still selling for €3/kg to €3.20/kg. Heavier bulls in the 450kg bracket are sitting around the €2.90/kg mark, which is still a very good price for the heavier weanling.

In the weanling heifer category, our analysis shows a correction downwards to the trade this week, off the back of some strong sales the previous week.

Top-end weanling heifers across all weight brackets are still selling for over €3/kg, with 400kg to 450kg heifers coming in at the highest price of €3.20/kg this week.