A change in the weather forecast for the next week will not be favourable for grass growth. The cold east wind and night frosts has restricted growth with the possibility of some rain is to be welcomed.
The green/climate change debated has been well aired over the past few years and it has produced many head scratching comments and suggestions from so called experts. We have been asked to stop cutting turf, an enterprise which has been carried out for years across the island of Ireland. This decision makes no sense because we have started importing peat briquettes from Poland and we now need to imported peat produces for our horticulturalists.
We here in Ireland are of little significance on the world stage and how these rules will help climate change is baffling.
Another suggestion is that the suckler cow produces more emissions than the dairy animal. It should be remembered that not all lands in this small country of ours are suitable for dairy and the suckler cow provides a living in many disadvantaged areas.
I do agree that the returns from this sector are poor but if farmers want to continue in this enterprise they should be allowed to do so.
People say our suckler herd should be cut in half to reduce carbon emissions.
So even though our beef is produced primarily from a grass base the markets we have secured throughout the world should now be filled with beef from South Americas where thousands of acres of forests are being cut down to facilitate farmers to produce more crops and livestock.
For the first time this year the sheep sector has seen a decrease in prices with factories reducing quotes for spring lambs and hoggets by 40 to 60 cents per kilo or €8 to €12 per head.
The bulk of spring lambs sold in Kilkenny from €150 to €175 per head with hoggets from €145 to €181 per head. Cull ewes ranged from €70 to €188 per head. Agreed prices were reduced but the sale still produced a 100% clearance.
The calf sale on a Tuesday has seen a decline in numbers with this week only attracting 380 calves. Trade still continues to be buoyant with exporters more anxious to secure stock than a few months ago.
Remember if you have calves to sell they should be entered before 3.30pm on the previous Monday.
The cattle trade all year has been vibrant with quality animals especially forward stores and beef types in demand. An indication of the good trade is that Friesian bullocks are ranging from €1.70 to €2 per kilo with forward and beef types breaching the €2.20 per kilo barrier. AA bullocks and heifers are also in demand.
If you have heavy cattle to sell the sales ring has now become a real alternative. Long may it continue .
Until next time do be careful on the farm and good buying, good selling and good luck.