2019 gets off to a sticky start at the Showgrounds
Weaker-than-normal trade at the year’s opening pedigree bull sale in Carrick-on-Shannon, reports Martin Ryan
THE clouds of uncertainty hanging over suckler farming, the poor prices for finishers and Brexit worries all had a dulling effect on the trade at the opening pedigree bull sale of 2019 at Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday.
The first of the two-sale launch to the 2019 pedigree sales schedule by the Midland and Western Livestock Improvement Society at the Showgrounds, concentrated on the Continental breeds, with almost 100 entries in the traditional beef breeds — Angus, Hereford and Shorthorn — to come under the spotlight at the venue on Saturday next.
The falloff in the attendance of customers at the ringside, when compared with the normal turnout at the venue, was quite noticeable and was reflected in the weak trade, which was in sharp contrast to the very successful closing sale of 2018 at the long established leading pedigree bull sale centre in the county in mid-December.
Auctioneer Francis McGowan summed it all up as “one of the stickiest sales I have experienced for quite a while, but there were buyers there for the very good bulls and I suppose it is very early in the season too and a lot of farmers are unsure what they are doing”.
The trade benefited from the presence of a number of breeders from Northern Ireland who competed for the top bulls, a number of which were destined for new homes across the Border by the end of the day.
Among the buyers was Derek Anderson from Enniskillen who paid €3,150 for the sale price-topper, Cahirglissane Ned, from the herd of Patrick Hehir, Cloonahaha, Gort, Co Galway.
The May 2017-born bull was bred from the herd dam, Cahirglissane Jean, which carries very good bloodlines, and by the French sire, Sicilien, to Aoife McGowan (13), Kilmore, Carrick-OnShannon giving the finishing touches to first prize winner, Corralara Nice, at Saturday’s Bull Show and Sale
produce the three star bull on the Replacement Index and a five star on the Terminal Index.
The sire, Sicilien, is particularly noted as one of the easiest calving Charolais sires available, with ‘Neds’ progeny predicted to have a calving difficulty of 6.1pc with a plentiful supply of stars under the indices for carcass weight and conformation.
Another customer from Northern Ireland was Martin Browne from Fermanagh who admitted to being “worried” over Brexit.
“We voted to stay in the EU. We don’t want to leave. I farm close to the Border and we don’t want to go back to border controls, because that would be a total nightmare for the farmers on both sides. It would make farming very difficult and it is very worrying to know what is going to happen and how we are going to be effected,” he said.
THERE WERE BUYERS THERE FOR THE VERY GOOD BULLS
Gearoid Mulligan, Currycramp, Dromod, Co Leitrim with Currycramp Milestone, Reserve Limousin Champion and Shane Kilraine, President, Midland and Western Livestock Improvement Society