Pedigree sale turns into a real ‘cracker’
APTLY known as the Christmas Cracker Show and Sale, the Irish Charolais Cattle Society final sale of pedigree bulls for 2018 truly delivered a “cracker” for its breeders at Elphin Mart, Co Roscommon on Saturday.
The festive lights sparkled in the spirit of the early seasonal atmosphere where the overflow of the ringside watched the proceedings on a CCTV screen, and the vendors benefited from one of the best pedigree bull sales of the season.
In an exceptionally strong trade for quality bulls, the leading price of €10,000 achieved in 2017was matched, with the number of bulls sold on par or slightly up on last year — and the overall clearance brushing close to 80pc.
Irish Charolais Cattle Society President Kevin Maguire commented “there is still very strong demand for Charolais as a beef breed”, reflecting the general impression of a “very satisfactory” sale in what has been one of the most difficult pedigree sale seasons for a number of years across all breeds.
The season in general has been impacted by the depressed commercial beef prices, lack of confidence in the future of suckler farming, and the increase in the number of pedigree bulls across all breeds.
The weekend sale benefited from the quality of the entry which came from a spread of 68 herds, and the capping of individual herd entries to a maximum of four bulls, which was only conceded to two breeders following the pre-selection process.
Turnout for the show and sale was high at 85pc of the entry, but the level of interest from breeders was confirmed with the ringside crowded throughout until the final bull went under auctioneer Tom Cox’s hammer after a busy afternoon of lively bidding.
The trade was very steady throughout with the younger bulls having a slight edge on price within the overall average of €4,078, with 26 bulls having sold for €4,000 or more and the top price of €10,000 recorded.
Purchasers paid an average of €3,910 for the first third of the bulls sold, increasing to €3,940 for the next third of sale and peaking at an average of €4,457 for the final third, being the younger bulls.