As I write this article the sun is shining outside and a lot of the agricultural chores have been complete in this window (at least here in the South-East) of prolonged dry weather.
There are still many fields, especially in North Kilkenny, where silage making has still not been completed but hopefully that issue will be resolved in the not too distant future.
Farmers with livestock to sell have experienced excellent returns over the past few months for both cattle and sheep with demand exceeding supply.
In the sheep sector Monday’s sale showed the first sign of weakening in almost 10 months brought by bigger supplies coming forward and a cut by 15 to 30 cent per kilo by factories.
The top call on Monday was €155 but the bulk of lambs weighing 46 to 50 kilo were making €142 to €147 per head which is a good bit short of the €180 to €200 which was available four to six weeks ago.
Logically speaking prices in excess of €160 were unstainable in the long term but hopefully prices will settle to help confirm the confidence that has been restored to the sheep sector.
The cattle trade continues to create superb returns especially for beef and forward store bullocks and heifers in the beef bullock sector 3 Char 765 kilo made €1890 with 3 more of the same breed this time weighing 720 kilo made €1880.
Even Friesians sold well with 3 bullocks of this breed which weighed 625 kilo getting into €1310.
Some fancy prices were also achieved in the forward store sector with 2 Char 555 €1620 or €2.92 per kilo.
AA breeds are also selling well 510 kilo €1290 or €2.53 per kilo. Lighter bullocks eg 370 kilo Limousin realised €1100 or €2.97 per kilo.
In the heifer sector a top call for Beef types was €1820 for a 650 kg Limousin.
The price range for Beef heifers was from €2.10 to €2.85 per kilo or €1060 to €1820 per head.
Light store heifers ranged from €600 to €1050 per head.
Cull cows are also in demand with the Friesian type ranging from €1.10 to €1.90 per kilo with continentals from €1.40 to €2.20 per kilo with a top price of €1980 for a Char weighing 910 kilo.
These prices will not last so if you have cattle to sell now is the time to bring them out.
Beef bullocks and heifers being sold in the marts are being sought after by different agents with returns exceeding factory quotes in many cases.
UK Australia Agreement
The agreement between the UK and Australia for 35000 tons of beef rising to 170,000 tons is predicted to have a major negative effect for beef producers in this country but that is an issue that will need to be examined in depth at a later date.
At the moment let’s enjoy the excellent returns for all cattle we are experiencing.
Until next time do be careful on the farm especially at this very busy time.
Good buying, good selling and good luck
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