Special sales of suckler-bred calves kicked off with an exceptional trade in Ballymena Mart on Saturday 24 September.

Topping the sale was an eight-month-old Belgian Blue cross show heifer weighing 314kg. Forwarded by Stephen Gowdy, Newtownabbey, bidding opened at £2,000 and quickly surged to a final price of £9,000, or a staggering £29/kg.

Other headline prices saw a 310kg Limousin heifer from Nugent Estates, Portaferry make £4,000 with McAfee Bros, Bushmills receiving £3,400 for a 260kg Charolais heifer. The same breeders topped the bullock trade at £1,700 for a 490kg Charolais.

Bull weanlings hit a top price of 381p/kg at £1,370 for a 360kg Charolais from Vincent McErlain, Armoy.

The general run of prices saw good-quality bull weanlings under 300kg making 300p to 370p/kg, with 300kg to 350kg lots at 300p to 340p/kg. Heavier lots between 350kg and 400kg sold to 380p/kg with those over 400kg topping at 347p/kg.

Heifer weanlings below 300kg sold to 380p/kg with animals between 350kg and 400kg making up to 400p/kg for animals with show potential.

Kilrea Mart

Kilrea held its first weanling sale on Friday past and again, there was an exceptionally strong trade across heifers and bull calves.

Prices topped at £1,240 for a 400kg (310p/kg) Limousin bull with heifers peaking at £1,210 for a 400kg Limousin (295p/kg).

The highest price per kg was the 352p/kg paid for a 250kg Limousin which made £880.

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