Pedi­gree heifers sell for up to €1,600 as de­mand surges

Irish Independent - Farming - - NEWS -

CALVED dairy heifers are a strong trade and fancy prices are be­ing paid for both pedi­gree and fancy com­mer­cial stock de­spite the re­cent milk price cuts.

Good qual­ity pedi­gree heifers sold from €1,400 to €1,600 a head in Ban­don Mart, while €1,350 to €1,520 a head was paid in Kil­mal­lock Mart for high EBI heifers.

De­nis Kirby of Kil­mal­lock Mart said de­mand for dairy stock had strength­ened on the back of the re­cent im­prove­ment in the weather. He said the bulk of the buy­ers were lo­cal farm­ers.

It was a sim­i­lar story in Ban- don where Tom McCarthy said the vast ma­jor­ity of the buy­ers for calved heifers were dairy farm­ers look­ing for “twos and threes”. Mr McCarthy said the con­tin­ued strength of the cull cow trade has helped keep a floor on the calved heifer mar­ket.

He pointed out that cows out of the par­lour were freely mak­ing €600 or €700 a head, with cows weigh­ing 650-700kgs sell­ing for close to €1,000.

De­mand

Mr McCarthy claimed there was no great de­mand for in-calf heifers, how­ever, he said there was a lively trade for maiden heifers.

He said farm­ers were look­ing for stock that weighed around 350kg and was “ready for the bull”. Heifers fit for ser­vice gen­er­ally made around €700-750/ hd, Mr McCarthy said. Lighter heifers be­ing sold off farm are re­ported to be mak­ing around €650 a head.

Mean­while, around €250 a head is be­ing paid for nice dairy heifer calves. Farm­ers re­port a steady trade for these calves, with much of the buy­ing be­ing done ex-farm.

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