Martin O Connor’s annual in-calf heifer sale has once again defied the odds this year, with prices topping at €10,000.
Lot 23A, a four-star Limousin-cross-Belgian Blue, heifer smashed last year’s record price of €9,000 at Elphin Mart earlier tonight (Friday, November 5th, 2021).
She set what is understood to be a new record price for a commercial in-calf heifer at an auction in the Republic of Ireland.
The October-2018-born 965kg heifer is a half-bred Limousin with 25% Belgian-Blue influence and 18.75% Friesian and 6.25% Holstein Friesian blood.
She is by Thomastown I 1337, a son of Bavardage / AGB, and her dam is by BBQ (Ballyfin Borat).
She sold scanned in-calf to Loyal and is due on December 29th, 2021.
A selection of Simmental-cross-Charolais, Belgian-Blue-cross-Limousins, Limousin-cross-Simmentals, and Charolais-cross-Limousins came under the hammer.
O’Connor sourced over 60% of heifers for this year’s sale directly from farms, with the remainder in marts.
O’Connor focuses on:
- Docility as the first and foremost trait;
- Good pelvic conformation for calving ability;
- Maternal traits with an ability to produce a calf every 365-370 days and rear subsequent progeny on her own;
- Power and style: 600kgs+, U or U+ grade.
O’Connor reported that average prices at his annual sale have increased year on year. The average levelled at €2,500 in 2019 and settled at €3,100 in 2020.
Last week, the specialist in-calf heifer sale host told That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane:
“This just goes to show you that there are farmers out there to buy good-quality stock.”
He believes that “you cannot expect the bull to do everything for you; you must have good cows”.
“People have said to me over the years: ‘Martin, your heifers are too good’, but my answer to this is that ‘your cows can never be too good.’ You cannot expect the bull to do everything for you; you must have good cows.”
“Your heifer/cow is your foundation stock. I find the heifers I breed from, mostly U grades and some U+s, that by using the best possible easy-calving Limousin bull you can get, you will still produce a top-quality U grade calf.”
“The hard calving factor does not come in with my heifers because the heifers I have are producing top-quality calves from easy-calving bulls,” he concluded.
Full sales report to follow…