Dairy farmers start thinking of replacements before a drop in price

The poor weather of the last few weeks is having a negative effect on all aspects of farming .Grass has started to disappear and animals on wet land have to be rehoused in an effort to stop poaching.

The poor weather of the last few weeks is having a negative effect on all aspects of farming .Grass has started to disappear and animals on wet land have to be rehoused in an effort to stop poaching.

All these factors have cooled the exuberance that was in play during the month of March and the main animals to show a significant price reduction are the plain types and also bulls with less customers around the ring for these type cattle. On Thursday there were no beef bullocks on offer which may indicate that numbers of this type are decreasing. Quality bullocks are still selling well with a lot of 8 Cont weighing 303 kg making €1100 and another lot of 4 Cont of 350 kg getting into €1150 this shows that even allowing for all the present day problems quality sells .The heifer ring showed plenty of life with beef heifers selling to €2.60 per kilo and stores to a high of €2.90 per kilo.

The cow sector has seen an significant increase in numbers this year and Thursday was no exception with 150 on offer with 100% clearance and a top price of €2.17 per kilo .With these type of returns farmers with quota problems should start culling out cows that are not up to scratch. The gap between fresh calved heifers and cull cows has never been so narrow so dairy farmers such start thinking of replacements before there is a drop in price. The mart has proven to be the proper place to sell cows but remember they need to be tested within 60 days for brucellosis.

A special suckler sale last Thursday created a lot of interest with buyers attending from as far away as Donegal. Cows with calves at foot peaked at €2620 per unit with in calf lots reaching a high of €1560 per head. These prices once again indicate the positive future of suckler farming long may it continue.

The sheep sector has proven to be very disappointing for the early lamb producer with a top price of €115 for lambs weighing 42kg the main reason given for the poor returns is that lamb is very slow to sell with the general spend significantly reduced in the past few months. Perhaps when hoggets dry up lamb price may stabilise but at the moment the omens do not look good. Calves price are still selling very well with a peak price of €520 for a continental bull it will be some time before we see if these prices are justified. Until next time good buying good selling and good luck.

Cattle

There were 620 cattle sold on Thursday last.

600 kg + €480 to €750 over the kilo or €1.75 to €2.20 per kilo

No. Breed Wt. €/kg Price(€)

1 Herf 690 €2.03 €1,400

No Beef On Offer 1 AA 670 €1.99 €1,330

1 Herf 610 €2.02 €1,230

6 Fr 600 €1.92 €1,150 C

500 - 600 kg €380 to €750 over the kilo €2 to €2.60 per kilo

No. Breed Wt. €/kg Price(€)

1 Char 590 €2.20 1,300

2 Char 560 €2.34 1,310

5 Herf 545 €2.12 1,155

1 Cont 500 €2.42 1,210

400 - 500 kg €400 to €800 ovr the kilo €1.90 to €2.65 per kilo

No. Breed Wt. €/kg Price(€)

4 Cont 495 €2.59 €1,280

2 Char 485 €2.62 €1,270

3 Sim 435 €2.46 €1,070

3 Cont 420 €2.32 €975

<400 kg €350 to €805 over the kilo €2 to €3.60 per kilo

No. Breed Wt. €/kg Price(€)

4 Char 395 €3.04 €1,200

4 Cont 350 €3.29 €1,150

6 AA 330 €2.12 €700

8 Char 305 €3.62 €1,105

Cull Cows - Cont €1.75 to €2.17 per kilo; Fr €1.25 to €2.00 per kilo

Beef Heifers €600 to €1070 over the kilo or €2.20 to €2.60 per kilo

No. Breed Wt. €/kg Price(€)

1 Char 730 €2.47 €1,800

1 Sim 710 €2.37 €1,680

3 Lim 585 €2.26 €1,320

1 Char 570 €2.58 €1,470

Butcher Heifers €420 to €700 over the kilo

No. Breed Wt. Price(€)

1 Cont 540 €2.13 1,150

2 AA 535 €2.21 1,180

1 Lim 490 €2.43 1,190

1 AA 450 €2.07 930

Store Heifers €350 to €700 over the kilo or €2.00 to €2.90 per kilo

No. Breed Wt. €/kg Price(€)

3 Char 380 €2.84 €1,080

1 Cont 370 €2.72 €1,005

2 AA 350 €2.03 €710

2 Lim 270 €2.93 €790

Sucklers - Cows with calves at foot €1100 to €2620 per unit; in-calf Cows/Hfrs €1000 to €1560 per head

Sheep

There were 600 animals on offer on Monday.

Butchers Lambs

No. Wt.(kg) €/kg Price(€)

10 52 €2.52 131

10 51 €2.39 122

14 49 €2.59 127

15 44 €2.61 115

Butcher Hoggets

No. Wt.(kg) € / kg Price(€)

21 58 €2.09 121

25 56 €2.05 115

11 53 €1.96 104

25 50 €2.26 113

Calves

Friesian Bulls €135 to €380 per head; Continental Bulls €300 to €490 per head; Continental Heifers €280 to €350 per head; A.Angus/Hfd Bulls €220 to €360 per head; A.Angus/Hfd Heifers €205 to €300 per head Dairy Stock

Maiden Fr Heifers €725 to €860 per head; calved FR Heifers €1000 to €1640 per head; calved Fr Cows €1000 to €1350 per head