The New Year has started very well for all involved in the cattle sector with all types meeting an excellent trade, no more so than last Thursday in Kilkenny where the trade could best be described as hot.
Factories are anxious to secure stock and it’s interesting to see that cattle over age and not quality assured are meeting excellent returns in the mart ring with no deductions as possibly would be the case if sent to the factory.
Another plus factor for Kilkenny Mart is that new customers are offering animals for sale as they have learned that we are lucky to have a bank of excellent customers looking to secure animals.
The bullock sale last Thursday saw Beef types range from €1180 to €1890 per head, forward store types €900 to €1600 per head with lighter types €500 to €1100 per head.
Beef heifers were also in demand with prices from €1100 to €1800 forward store types €980 to €1200 with lighter types €450 to €1100 per head.
Its in the cull cow sector where we have seen a real rise in prices with quality Friesian types to a top of €2.06 per kilo with continental types to €2.40 per kilo.
With Covid restrictions easing it is possible that restaurants and hotels will become the excellent customers they were pre Covid which has to be another positive for this sector.
Remember if you have cattle to sell they should be entered before 3.30pm on the previous Wednesday on 056 7721407.
The sheep prices have been difficult over the past few weeks with factory kills being reduced due to Covid outbreaks in factory workers.
The build up of numbers and the slowdown in operations meant that difficulties developed so factories dropped quotes considerably.
Monday’s sale in Kilkenny was a small affair only attracting 200 sheep but because of this trade was firmer with the bulk of butcher type lambs ranging from €150 to €156 per head which would be €4 to €6 ahead of last week’s disappointing returns.
Cull ewes and rams also sold well with a top call of €182.
Next Tuesday, 1st February, we host our first standalone calf sale at 11am. Entries are invited and it would be beneficial if you have calves to sell inform us before 4pm on Fridays.
Last week the live shipping of calves was discussed and the proposed ban on exports was averted at least for the time being, but the 28 day rule was introduced.
At the moment things are very much up in the air but at least exporters can operate which is essential for all farmers selling calves especially Friesian types.
Our dairy sales are being held every Monday at 12.30pm and in the following weeks we will also be dispersing a few excellent dairy herds.
This week quality fresh calved Friesian heifers ranged from €1350 to €1700 per head with in calf Friesian cows and heifers ranging from €900 to €1350 per head with those that are nearer to calving the most popular.
Health and Safety
It should be noted that the health and safety authority have said that this time of year is the most dangerous on farms due to the number of cows that are calving.
The most placid cow can become very aggressive and dangerous when freshly calved in an attempt to protect her calf, so if in a pen with this type of animal make sure you have a safe escape route planed.
Until next week, take care and good buying, good selling and good luck.
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