Heavy rain and delayed turnout have started to impact the cattle trade, with a marked drop in cattle prices over the last two weeks.

Analysis of Irish Farmers Journal MartBids data shows that average quality 500kg to 600kg heifers have fallen from €3.03/kg in mid-March to €2.87/kg last week, a drop of €88/head.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal Kilkenny Mart’s George Candler said: “Empty silage pits, full slurry tanks and waterlogged fields on farms across the country are not helping confidence in the cattle trade.”

Milk supplies and milk solids are down by as much as 10% in the year to date, as a result of the delay to turnout.

Co-ops are now sourcing fodder for livestock farmers using the fodder transport subsidy worth up to €40/bale, announced by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue on Tuesday.

Lack of support

Beleaguered tillage farmers have received no support from the Government, despite being the sector hardest hit by the weather.

Met Éireann has forecast drier weather next week with high pressure expected to play a more dominant role.