The introduction of Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions led to marts moving to fully online sales - which has caused many challenges for both buyers and sellers.

The high demand seen for dairy stock continues, as it has been mentioned by some mart managers that the online trading platform has aided the successful heights in prices paid over recent months.

Ballyjamesduff Mart recently held the herd dispersal sale of the late Ger Hackett, on Saturday (January 23) in Newcastle, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary.

The Cavan-based mart was auctioning a quality herd of 70 high economic breeding index (EBI) valued cows, 21 in-calf heifers, 15 maiden heifers and a young pedigree Angus bull.

Manager's comments

After the sale, AgriLand spoke with the mart’s manager, John Tevlin, to gain some insight into this special sale.

John said: ''One of the stranger things to come from Covid-19 is that a Cavan-based mart is hosting a sale in the heart of Tipperary.

''With the current restrictions, the auctioneer was selling the stock from Cavan, with some 230km between them.

''A Cavan mart hosting a sale in Tipperary resulted in us having some of our local customers, some Northern buyer along with Tipperary-based farmers all buying stock.

''We had interest from all over Ireland, we also had viewers from Scotland and New Zealand watching cows being sold online.

There were buyers that were up to 400km away that hadn't seen the cattle other than on the cameras in the sale ring.

''The sale went very well, with some great prices being paid. The top price on the day was paid for an in-calf cow which sold for €2,930, with the average price for in-calf cows and heifers being €2,130.

''The maiden heifers made between €1,040-€1,480, with none of them a year old yet. The Angus bull fetched a price of €3,300. A third of the cattle sold on the day will be going for export to Northern Ireland," John concluded.