Last Thursday's weekly sale in Castlerea Mart, Co Roscommon, saw almost 500 cattle go through the ring, with plenty of demand for factory fit and forward store entries.

Weanling bulls and bullocks were a flying trade, with continental bulls in the 350-450kg bracket regularly topping €3/kg.

Lighter weanling bulls were generally a good trade, however age was against a lot of bull calves.

Bullocks weren’t quite met with the same demand as bulls, but some lighter weanling bullocks averaged €3/kg also. Heavier bullocks above 450kg averaged slightly less at €2.65.

Dry cows surging

Dry cows were up almost €100/head on average compared to the previous week's sale, according to mart manager Brendan Regan.

He told the Irish Farmers Journal: “Any cow with flesh was making €2/kg, older cows weighing 500-600kgs averaged €1.90/kg, while heavier cows over 650kgs averaged €2.05-€2.10/kg."

This May 2020-born PTX bull weighing 385kg sold for €890 (€2.31/kg).

This April 2020-born CHX bull weighing 375kg sold for €1,160 (€3.09/kg).

Heifer trade

The sale topper, at €2,000, was a SIX heifer weighing 575kg. Heifers were in great demand, with any animal suitable for breeding making over €2.75/kg.

Regan added: “The grass buyers are just starting to buy here, and this has driven the prices in recent weeks.”

Feedlot representatives were buying in big numbers on the day, though dairy-bred heifers were back slightly on previous weeks according to Regan.

Average-quality heifers averaged €2/kg for those in the 330- 470kg range, while heavier dairy-bred stock were back slightly on previous weeks at €2.15/kg.

Weanling heifers were met with extremely strong trade, with a super show of LMX and CHX weanling heifers.

Average prices for 2020-born heifers under 430kgs were around the €3/kg mark, while the top heifers in this weight category made close to €3.40/kg.

Though there were very few weanling heifers over 400kg, any that did were in demand for any exporters present.

This June 2019-born LMX heifer weighing 380kgs sold for €950 (€2.50/kg).

This LMX cow with bull calf at foot sold for €1,870.

This April 2020-born CHX bull weighing 375kg sold for €1,160 (€3.09/kg).

This January 2019-born AAX heifer weighing 625kg sold for €1,460 (€2.33/kg).