Spring dairy sales have kicked off at marts in recent weeks. To obtain some insight into how the trade has started off, Agriland spoke with two mart employees based in the northeast of the country.
Ballyjamesduff held two dairy sales this week. The first was an on-farm sale of heifers and the second was the mart's dairy sale.
Speaking with Agriland John Tevlin, Ballyjamesduff Mart manager, stated: "On Monday, February 7, we held the on-farm online sale of in-calf heifers for Robin and Philip Wood of the Shancroghan herd.
"Just over half the heifers found a new home north of the border.
"Top price on the day of €2,250 was achieved on two occasions, firstly by lot 53 Shancroghan Carlino Dawn due February 28, and then by lot 78 Shancroghan Grey Norah, also due in February.
"The majority of the lots sold for between €1,750 and €1,950 on the day," John added.
Continuing, the mart manager said: "This sale was yet another first for myself and Ballyjamesduff Mart in that the auctioneer, Tom Harrison, was selling from the comfort of his villa in Spain."
Commenting on the dairy sale held at Ballyjamesduff Mart on Wednesday, John said: "On Wednesday, we held the mart dairy sale with a good entry of in-calf and freshly calved cows and heifers.
"In-calf cows sold from €1,110 to €1,500, with calved cows and heifers selling from €1,400 to €1,780 and weanling maiden heifers selling from €580 to €720."
Ballybay dairy sale
Ballybay Mart held its second dairy sale of the year also on Wednesday, February 9, with over 130 lots on offer at the Co. Monaghan mart.
The lots on offer at the sale included 111 freshly calved heifers and cows, along with 22 springing heifers and cows.
After the sale, Agriland spoke with a member of the Ballybay Mart team, who stated: "We had a large entry to our fortnightly dairy sale, with a good trade, achieving over an 80% clearance.
"Freshly calved heifers were in highest demand among the buyers. There was a large presence of northern buyers, with almost 75% of the animals sold heading north."
The dairy sale at Ballybay contained predominately Holstein and British Friesian-type cows.
Top price of the day was €2,300 achieved by lot 8, a freshly calved Holstein-cross Friesian heifer milking 34L.
Some more sample prices from the sale:
- Lot 14 sold for €2,200;
- Lot 5 sold for €2,180;
- Lot 117 sold for €2,020;
- Lot 123 sold for €2,000;
- Lot 113 sold for €2,000;
- Lot 111 sold for €2,000;
- Lot 125 sold for €,1980;
- Lot 121 sold for €1,980.