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Kilkenny farmers missing the mart and feeling isolated in lockdown

George Candler

Reporter:

George Candler

Email:

news@kilkennypeople.ie

Kilkenny Kilkenny Kilkenny

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The long dreary days of the past few weeks sums up the mood of most people I have meet. The Covid-19 epidemic is still causing lots of problems both here and world wide.


We Irish are not used to isolating and this is particularly true in the mart business, where people were used to meeting particularly here in Cillin Hill where on a Monday or on a Thursday they were in attendance even if they had no business to conduct on that specific day.


It was a chance for farmers to meet up to observe prices talk about hurling, talk about the political landscape and in general just to socialise.
These days have not happened since February which means that farmers particular those living on their own feel totally isolated.
Hopefully the Level 5 restrictions will ease next month but normality could be a long way off.


Cattle sale
Last Thursday’s cattle sale was once again a small affair with 600 cattle on offer.
Trade remains firm especially for quality continentals in both the bullock and heifer ring. Quality lots are ranging from €2.15 to €2.40 per kilo. There is also a good demand for AA and Herefords with prices ranging from €1.80 to €2.20 per kilo.


Restrictions
There appears to be a reluctance by farmers to bring cattle into marts under the present restrictions but they should avail of the good trade. Remember that all animals will be sold subject to them giving permission for them to be sold.
We as auctioneers would love to have both buyers and sellers in the ring but you can be assured that we will always strive to get the best price possible for all animals.


Next Tuesday will be our last stand alone weanling sale which this year did not attracted as big a numbers as other years.
Trade for the lighter type weanling continental bulls has remained steady with prices for bulls from 250kg to 380 kg ranging from €2.20 to €3.00 for exceptional lots.
On the negative side bulls in excess of 420 kilo have been more difficult to sell with most ranging from €1.90 to €2.20 per kilo.
The reason for the decline in numbers is understandable as many top quality weanling producers have change to dairy production.


Suckler Herds
We here in Kilkenny Mart have dispersed at least 30 to 40 suckler herds over the past two to three years, which is the main reason for the decline in numbers.
Personally I still feel there is at least a living for suckler farmers who have the top quality cow and bull, but you need to be ruthless in eliminating a cow that has failed to produce a quality calf over a two-year period.
Stars are all very well but if the confirmation of the animal is poor the number of potential purchases diminishes.


Sheep Sale
It’s been a good year for the sheep producer and Monday’s sale once again proved very successful with all sheep been sold.
Butcher lambs ranged from €117 to €128 per head with factory types from €104 to €115 per head and stores from €74 to €101 per head.
Cull ewes ranged from €88 to €134 per head.


If you are a sheep producer and a supplier to factories remember there is no cut off price in the marts for heavy lambs and the cull ewes are also making excellent prices.


Time for marts?
Many farmers complain they do not have time to visit marts but with sheep sales in Kilkenny concluding before 12 noon sheep farmers should consider the mart as a real alternative and a way to secure extra money for your product.


Weanling Sale
Next Monday we will be conducting a sheep sale at 10.15am with a Dairy Sale at 12noon.
Tuesday we hold our final weanling sale of the season starting at 11am and on Thursday our general cattle sale starts at 11am with two rings.
Until next time do be careful on the farm, and good buying, good selling and good luck.