Prices soared to €5,250 at Walter Brennan’s 15th annual in-calf sale in a packed-to-the-rafters Balla Mart, County Mart on Friday evening (November 18th, 2022).
A lively trade prevailed through the sale, which saw prices range from €2,350 upwards, with a full clearance recorded.
The mart’s resident livestock auctioneer, Raymond Clarke, was on the rostrum for the sale of in-calf suckler-bred continental heifers, which garnered strong ringside and online activity from all corners of the country.
Leading the charge at €5,250 was a 31-month-old 675kg Belgian-Blue-cross-Limousin that was served on June 14th, 2022, to LM2014 (Ivor).
The purchaser of the sale-topping heifer received a €200 luck’s penny, which Boyne Valley Meats sponsored.
The sale included 43 in-calf commercial suckler-bred females: Limousin-crosses (black and red types), Belgian Blue-crosses, Simmental-crosses, and roan-type.
Heifers are in-calve to Limousin bulls, including EBY, Lodge Hamlet, Loyal, Ivor and the farm’s proven five-star Ivor son.
One cow-heifer and calf pair – a Limousin-cross dam born with an EBY bull calf at foot, changed hands for €4,600 (combined weight of 725kgs).
Ahead of the sale, Catherina Cunnane, editor of That’s Farming, spoke to Brennan, a Mayo Abbey, Claremorris, Co Mayo farmer:
He told her:
“We have a wide range of four and five-star females, which have been served from late February onwards. They will be calving from an average range of circa 24-38 months.”
“Moreover, there has been northern interest in recent years. Our customers purchase the heifers to breed superior weanlings – which are of export and/or show potential standard – that go on to attain premium prices.”
“When selecting heifers for the sale, I focus on feminine traits; so they must look like a cow.”
“I would not touch a heifer that would be anyways masculine or rough. I favour a cow maker that is fit for purpose with maternal traits, a docile nature, width and not overly muscled, but is well-conformed, being an R+ or U grade type.”
“In that case, you can let the bull do the rest to produce E grade progeny if you so wish. Also, the number one factor for me is that they calf easily for the buyer and that they rear their calf to a satisfactory standard,” he concluded.
Pictures and prices:
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All images: Chloe Goggins Photography
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