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23/09/2021

Harvest kicks off in Kilkenny - in ideal conditions!

Kilkenny Kilkenny

This week as I sit and write this piece the temperature outside is 22 degrees and may well climb to 30 degrees, an event we are not used to here in Ireland.


On Monday, when travel restrictions eased, thousands of travellers were heading off to catch the sun in Spain. In the present weather conditions it’s a bit like bringing coals to Newcastle.


Having taken a few days off a few weeks ago Irish hotels’ present prices have risen significantly and what you pay for three to four night stay could well cover your trip abroad for a week.
We are a great island but we have to be careful that we are not pricing ourselves out of the market.

Tourism
I know the hotels, pubs and b&bs have had a very difficult time during the Covid outbreak but with airlines now slowly getting back to business there will be a lot of great value to be had so we need to be competitive as a tourist destination.


You may well be saying what’s the above got to do with farming, a fair question, but weather has always been a topic when we meet and greet and if you’re a farmer most jobs on the farm are weather related.


I have met a number of people who have found the present warm dry spell oppressive but hopefully we can enjoy it and soak up the vitamin C.


A statistic - we here in the South East and East of the country have rain fall on 151 days of the year.
If you live in the West, North West or South West rain falls on 225 days of the year. For tillage farmers they are hoping the present conditions prevail but even a few showers would do no one any harm.
Talking of tillage farmers the harvest has just kicked off with ideal conditions. It’s reported that winter barley is returning up to 4.5 t an acre with moisture reading at 15% to 16%.

Sheep Sale
Monday’s sheep sale saw a reduction in price from last week’s return by €2 to €6 per with cull ewes also easier in price with a top call of €166 compared to €200 on the previous week’s trading.
On the positive front prices are ahead of 2020 returns. Store lamb averaged €100 as opposed to €83 last year.
The 40 to 50 kilo lamb averaged €124 that price was €109.50 a year ago and heavy lambs over 50kg achieved an average of €140 compared to €118 in 2020.
So hopefully prices will stabilise to retain the confidence of the sheep producer.

Cattle Sale
Thursday cattle sale was another big affair for the month of July, exceeding €1 million for the third sale in a row.
Beef bullocks ranged from €1230 to €2140 per head forward store bullocks €960 to €1540 per head with lighter types €550 to €1360 per head.
With these returns its no wonder that many beef farmers are selling their animals in the mart.
The heifer sector saw beef types range from €1230 to €1830 per head forward store heifers €980 to €1350 and lighter types €600 to €1020.
Remember all cattle for Thursday sale should be entered before 3.30pm on Wednesday with the only requirement being that animals are tested within the year and have a tag in each ear.
You can contact the Mart office on 056 7721407.
When you’re out and about in the next few days remember to keep the hat on and wear plenty of factor 50 sunscreen.


Special Sales
A few special sales coming up in Kilkenny Mart.
Next Thursday, July 29, we hold a special suckler sale of over 30 head with the majority with calves at foot.
On Tuesday, August 3, we host the Premier Belclare Sale with our annual show and sale of ewes and ewe lambs on Monday, August 16, with entries now being taken.
Until next time good buying, good selling and good luck.

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