Big numbers of cows from the dairy herd are continuing to be offloaded through the marts, with prices ranging from €500/hd to €1,000/hd for animals straight out of the parlour.

A combination of nitrates changes, poor weather and fodder concerns has resulted in a surge in dairy cows being moved off farms this back-end.

Between 300 and 400 cows are being offered at Castleisland Mart each week, Nelius McAuliffe said, and the mart manager predicted that this level of sales is likely to hold for another fortnight at least.


Cow prices continue to vary significantly, with €0.80/kg to €1/kg being paid for light animals straight out of the parlour, McAuliffe said. These prices equate to €500 to €600/hd.

However, cows with “more flesh cover” – that were possibly getting meal in the parlour – made up to €1.20 to €1.40/kg or €700 to €900/hd.

The vast majority of the cows are being purchased by specialist finishers.

There was also a marked price variation for cows at Kilkenny Mart, with light stock straight from the parlour generally making €0.70/kg to €1.10/kg, or €400 to €650/hd.

However, better-fed cows made from €1.20/kg to €2/kg or a top of €1,100 to €1,200/hd.

Meanwhile, cow numbers in Corrin Mart, Fermoy, have held close to normal levels this back-end.

Mart manager Seán Leahy said prices for cull cows ranged from €0.90/kg to €1.60/kg.

“Cows are not in bad order. They look like they got a lot of feed,” Leahy maintained.

Meanwhile, George Candler of Kilkenny Mart said there was stronger demand for replacements at their latest dairy sale.

Calved cows and heifers sold for €1,350-2,600/hd. Three-year-old in calf heifers ranged in price from €1,250/hd to €1,550/hd.