There were very few dairy stock on offer compared to previous years at Newport Mart's annual sale on Monday 28 December, but suckler stock on offer were a good solid trade.
The dairy sale kicked off at 11am and finished at 12.30pm. Best prices were for freshly calved heifers or heifers very near to calving, with €1,400 plus available for 2018-born Holstein Friesians.
Older Friesian cows not in calf but still milking 19 litres were also on offer and made €840 each in the ring. A lot of four 2018-born Holsteins still milking but not in calf made €840 in the ring and four 2017-born cows made the very same at €840.
For the same owner a young freshly calved heifer with an EBI of €125 that had just calved (26 December) made €950. Poorer-quality Friesian cows sold for smaller money. One 2014-born Friesian cow due February to a Hereford suitable for suckling only made €710.
Kicking off at 1pm, the suckler sale moved smartly from lot to lot, with a mix of first-calved heifers, cow with calves at foot or in-calf suckler cows. Prices in general were good, with quality making good money in the ring.
One of the highest prices in the ring was a nice 585kg 2018-born purebred red Limousin due to calve mid-February which made €1,730 for Pat Vaughan in Limerick.
Seamus Morrissey had 23 mostly first-calving heifers and they all made very good money. They were all mostly 2018-born red Limousins in calf to a Limousin bull and due to calve January-February 2021. They weighed close to 700kg each and made around €1,500 to €1,600 each one after the other.
A 2018-born black Limousin softening to calve made €1,450, a 695kg red Limousin made €1,630 and another at 690kg animal made €1,570. Six first-calving red Limousin heifers due February-March that were just shy of 600kg and born late autumn 2018/early spring 2019 made between €1,300 and €1,450 each.
Suckler cows with calves at foot
There were a number of suckler cows sold with calves at foot. A 2017-born red Limousin cow with a Limousin bull calf at foot (born 1 October) made €1,470.
A 2014 black cow with a strong June-born Limousin heifer calf made €1,450. A 2017-born red white-head cow with a red Limousin bull calf (born 11 September) made €1,200.
A black white-head cow with a red Limousin bull calf made €1,190, while a similar type of cow with a black Limousin calf made €1,300. A 2018-born Limousin cow with a June-born black Aberdeen Angus bull calf scanned back in calf sold for €1,540.
The sale is normally a very social occasion, but this year was different as there was nobody around the ring, with a few farmers getting a look at stock outside around the holding pens, but all bidding online. Full report in print this week.