Some farmers feel they are a waste of time, others feel they need to be there every week while others feel it is their social outlet for the week.
I am of course talking of livestock marts which are situated all over Ireland.
It is fair to say that there are too many marts and rationalisation should have taken place years ago.
When you compare two counties like Kilkenny and Tipperary it amazing to think that our neighbour boasts over eight marts while Kilkenny has just the one.
Facilities in many marts are poor and its amazing that the strict rules and regulations that apply to a comparatively modern mart like Kilkenny do not apply elsewhere. This is a special year for Kilkenny Co Op Livestock Market as it celebrates its Diamond Jubilee. The former founders began their share drive in 1955 and in autumn 1956 secured and built at Barrack Street. Without the support of farmers throughout Kilkenny and surrounding counties this would not have been possible. Due to pressure from town planners it was suggested that the Barrack Street site was not suitable and with this in mind a new site in Cillinhill was chosen. In July 2007 we moved to our new facilities which is today Cillinhill Agri Park with development still ongoing. Two big events this year will be the opening of the new Red Mills structure a magnificent initiative by the Connolly family and the hosting of the World Limousin Show and Sale in August of this year to name just two.
On Thursday our second cattle sale of the year attracted over 500 cattle including over 80 sucklers. A clearance sale of a top herd saw an average of €1540 per head for in calf Simmental Limousin X cows due to Limousin bull mid Feb to late March. There was a steady trade for both bullocks and heifers with cull cows comprising of mostly Friesians. Numbers should s increase in coming weeks.
Mondays sheep sale once again proved a lively affair with lambs hoggets peaking at €134 with cull ewes to a high of €133.A special entry of in lamb ewes saw prices ranging from €160 to €196 per head. We will be holding another sale of in lamb ewes on Monday1st February. Only a small number of dairy stock appeared with a top price of €1480 for a fresh calved Friesian heifer. Next weeks sale has already attracted a larger entry.
Due to concerns by dairy farmers regarding starting times of our calf sale we have now decided to dedicate a special day for calves and weanlings.
As and from the 2nd February 2016 we will be holding a weekly calf sale with a starting time of 11am sharp.
If you are a seller of calves perhaps you might contact us as we will the contact potential buyers regarding the breed and number of animals on offer.
Until next week please look after yourself on the farm and good buying, good selling and good luck.