For a long time sheep farmers have been the poor relation on the agricultural scene with prices most of the time being very disappointing and farmers with bigger numbers being the only real ones to benefit.
In the past year the trend has been much more positive with very few factory and butcher type lambs being sold for less than €100.
This figure is also a psychological barrier which needs to be broken for farmers to feel their product is worth producing.
Last Monday a new high was set with spring lambs making €211 and €209 respectively which is about €40 to €50 per head better than 2020 returns. The reason for these top returns is scarcity with trade being dictated by a supply and demand situation.
Sheep prices should remain firm in the short term but when supplies start increasing prices will come under pressure and logically todays prices are unsustainable. Hopefully sheep farmers will continue to get at least a viable price going forward.
Our sheep sale next week will take place on Tuesday 6th April.
For the first time this year the dairy trade took a backward step on Monday with customers not as anxious to secure stock as they have been.
Most lots saw a reduction of €60 to €80 per head compared to the previous Monday’s trading, with lesser types reduced by over €100 per head.
Having said that top quality fresh calved Friesian heifers ranged from €1700 to a top of €2040.
Due to the Easter Bank Holiday there will not be a dairy sale next week with Monday 12th April being the next day for milking or in calf Friesian cows and heifers. Entries are now being accepted.
Tuesday’s calf sales are still attracting good numbers with 600 on offer last week. Prices still remain firm with Friesian bulls ranging from €80 to €200 per head with lesser types from €25 to €70 per head. Continental bulls saw prices from €200 to €460 per head with the heifers in this sector ranging from €150 to €410 per head. Traditional breeds are also selling well with AA and Hereford Bulls from €120 to €300 per head and heifers from €100 to €300 per head.
The cattle trade remains firm with customers anxious to secure quality lots.
The MartBids App is working well with buyers from over 14 counties securing stock on Thursday.
Beef bullocks ranged from €1150 to €1880 per head with forward store bullocks seeing prices range from €950 to €1610 per head. All breeds are selling well with AA types as much in demand as continentals and even the better type Friesian bullocks exceeding €2 per kilo in cases.
Remember if you have cattle to sell they should be entered before 3.30pm on the previous Wednesday. Office number 056-7721407.
With the longer evenings it is hoped that in the weeks ahead Covid restrictions will be reduced, but it could well be June before we see any significant changes. The general public need more positivity from our government with clearer messages that all the restrictions and sacrifices are of benefit.
Until next time I hope you have a Good Easter and perhaps even the hard working farmer has some time to relax and try to recharge the batteries after a difficult year. Good buying, good selling and good luck.