Two herd owners in Rochfortbridge, Co Westmeath, Ronan Flanagan and Anthony Hyland, have joined forces to form The Park and Na Cru Farms.
Next month, the duo will host their first annual sale of “super quality” maiden heifers. The sale will take place on Saturday, October 9th at GVM Tullamore Mart, Co Offaly at 1 pm.
A total of 55-top quality maidens by EBY, TVR, Fiston, STQ, ION, ZAG and MBP will go under the hammer.
The Park and Na Cru Farms
They told Catherina Cunnane, That’s Farming editor:
“Over the years, our farms have been involved in the beef enterprise but found that the profits from this are marginal.”
“We both were buying in good quality weanling heifers and selling the better ones more suitable to breeding privately and finishing the rest.”
“We had repeat customers coming back to us every year, so last year we decided to try to buy all heifers which were suitable for breeding and have our own sale.”
Sourcing in marts and prices
They have hand-picked heifers from all over the country. They both work full-time, so making time to travel to marts is a lot easier with the involvement of two parties.
“We can cover two marts in one night. While at a mart, we try and buy one or two each for each other to keep the quantity equal between the two farms to save a fallout,” they added.
“Over the past number of years, we have seen that quality is key whether it is for beef or breeding.”
“The demand for the quality breeding heifer is highly sought after in every mart in the country; everyone wants the good one.”
“We have noticed that there is a huge price gap between the nice breeding heifer and the serious quality breeding heifer.”
“We travel around the country this time of year to various marts to find the right heifer that suits us. It is one job to find them, and it is a bigger job to buy them.”
Quality over quantity and colour factor
They noted that the younger generation of farmers are focusing more on quality over quantity. Some of their previous buyers would have had 40 cows and, in some cases, are dropping numbers to 30 better-quality breeding females.
“In the past twelve months, farmers have gone crazy for cattle with colour, especially roans. It is great for us this year as we have ten of them on offer.”
“We feel that the suckler farmer plays a very important role in rural Ireland.”
“There is a future in suckler farming in Ireland with the good prices and the passion some farmers show at the ringside. We firmly believe that it is quality over stars.”
Breeds, weight, and age ranges
On offer at this year’s sale are roans, Belgian Blue-crosses, Limousin-crosses, Charolais-crosses, Simmental-crosses, and Blonde-crosses.
“We bought some heifers from the renowned Tateetra & Rathmore Farms, managed by John Kingham. This year we have ten from this farm, including roans, Limousin-crosses, Blue-crosses, Simmental-crosses and Charolais-crosses.”
According to the herdowners, weights will range from 450 to 700kgs, with most entries north of 550kgs. Ages range from 18 months to 28 months, with most females on the 24-month-old mark.
“All heifers are scanned correct and right for breeding, and all animals are export tested,” they added.
Both farms have tested negative for Neospora, IBR, Lepto and Salmonella.
Viewing, bidding and catalogue
On the day of the sale online, interested parties can place bids via LSL’s app and at the ringside.
“Viewing these heifers before the sale is recommended but not essential due to our full catalogue completed by Tricia Kennedy.”
“Within this catalogue, the breeding of all heifers is available along with €uro-star ratings,” they concluded.
If anyone wants to view these heifers or request a catalogue, you can contact Anthony: 086-8873496 or Ronan: 087-1366599.
Photos of other lots: