George Candler, auctioneer at Kilkenny Mart, Cillin Hill
Thursday’s sale in Kilkenny attracted almost 800 cattle which was smaller to the corresponding sale in 2017.
A lot of farmers were busy with other tasks availing of the fine weather.
Many farmers were also involved with silage making which is taking place which should improve the fodder situation
There was more life about the trade especially for the forward stores and continental types. There is still a problem in selling AA and Hereford types under 380 kilo and originating from the suckler herd.
There is still uncertainty out there and perhaps if we see some clarity regarding Brexit it may introduce more confidence.
I have written before about the problems being encountered by the suckler farmers who are at crisis point and need help immediately. Farmers can’t keep producing quality animals for returns that do not even cover keeping the cow.
A minimum return of close to €1,000 per weanling is required, but many producers are nowhere near that. This year due to lack of grass, costs have escalated, making the situation more unprofitable.
The fact that many farmers are involved in the BDGP scheme is stopping them taking drastic action but unless their plight improves once that scheme has ended there could be a vast exodus from suckler farming.
There is a suggestion that some positive news may emanate from this years budget but unless €200 per cow is on offer it will be of little use.
The factories have also a responsibility to pay a decent price for a quality product but appear to be more interested in attracting numbers to the detriment of quality.
Monday’s sheep sale could best be described as steady, with butcher lambs ranging from €98 to €110 per head with factory types from €89 to €99 per head. In the store sector lambs 40 kilo or less ranged from €74 to €85 per head.
Breeding ewes are still difficult to sell with €150 the top call.
There appears to be little or no appetite to expand the sheep flock which is a sad situation and another example of how difficult it is to make a decent living out of many aspects of farming.
Our dairy sale on Monday attracted over 65 head with calved Fr cows and heifers ranging from €100 to €1460 per head with in calf Fr heifers attracting prices from €780 to €860 per head with most of these calving in February. These prices appear to be very good value for the purchaser.
The next Dairy Sale is on Monday, October 22. There will also be a special suckler sale of an entire herd of sucklers on Tuesday, October 16 in conjunction with the weanling sale, with 40 animals involved.
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