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Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane
Catherina Cunnane hails from a sixth-generation drystock and specialised pedigree suckler enterprise in Co. Mayo. She currently holds the positions of editor and general manager at That's Farming, having joined the firm during its start-up phase in 2015.
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‘Simmental has long been accepted as the best all-round suckler cow in Ireland’

The Irish Simmental Cattle Society (ISCS) will host its annual premier sale on Saturday, October 23rd, at Roscommon Mart.

56 pedigree Simmental bulls and 67 heifers will come under the hammer along with a draft of 11 females from the Raceview herd. The sale will begin at midday with a show at 8 am.

A spokesperson for the Irish Simmental Cattle Society told That’s Farming:

“The return to the show aspect to the sale day will please a lot of breeders and prospective buyers alike. They can see a showcase of the very best of what the Simmental breed has to offer across breeding bulls and heifers.”

“There will be ringside bidding available on the day, and for those who prefer to bid online, this facility will be available via the LSL app.”

“Prospective buyers should remember to register with Roscommon Mart in advance to avoid any disappointment.”

“There is a bull purchase finance scheme available with further details available from the ISCS office by ringing 057-9324577 or by visiting the ISCS’ website”

5 €200 vouchers

In another added incentive for buyers this year, the ISCS offers 5 vouchers to a value of €200 each for the top 5 bull prices on the day. This amounts to a significant discount for purchasers of the top quality lots sold at the sale.

The spokesperson continued: “There has been a marked rise in popularity of the Simmental breed in the past couple of years, as evidenced by strong sales in recent times.”

“Last year’s record price of €52,000 for Clonagh Lucky Explorer was backed up with a great consistency in bull sales in the spring with a top of €12,500 for Lissadell Mr Mullarkey VIP.”

“Allied to that was a storming trade for Simmental-cross heifers this autumn, which saw some of the top prices paid for Simmental lots across all breeds.”

“All of this augers well for a strong demand for the type of quality Simmental bull that will be available in Roscommon on October 23rd.”

“The Simmental cow has long been accepted as the best all-round suckler cow in Ireland, with her maternal qualities hard to rival.”

“The ISCS is keen to emphasise the weanling and finishing quality of its male offspring as well. Simmental weanlings and finished bulls are standing up to all other breeds in achieving weight for age and factory grades.”

500-cow farm using Simmental genetics 

John Kingham of Tateetra & Rathmore Farms farms 500 cows and runs 10 bulls – 4 Simmentals – with the herd.

A strong trade for heifers off a Simmental bull was evident at Tateetra & Rathmore Farms’ animal heifer sale this year.

Simmental-cross heifers sold to €4,050 (490kgs), €4,050 (420kgs) and €2,450 (380kgs) with another changing hands at €3,900.

John explained: “Simmental heifers topped the average breed price for this year’s sale. The Simmentals, in particular, were exceptional. Our Simmental bulls will stand in with any breed.”

This is yet another reminder of the profitability that a Simmental stock bull can bring to a suckler farm.

Simmental breeder 

Wesley Browne has worked with various breeds of cattle in his career but believes he needs Simmental breeding in all cows for “superior mothering ability, milk, calving ease and temperament”.

Wesley is farming full-time in Dunraymond Co. Monaghan, running a herd of 80 high replacement index Simmental-cross suckler cows.

He plans to increase that number to 100, continue slaughtering bulls at U16 months, and continue selling surplus high index heifers for breeding.

The last 24 bulls slaughtered in 2021:

  • Average weight: 390KG
  • Grade: U=3-
  • Average age: 15 months
  • Lifetime gain 1.4Kg/Day.

Wesley feels the Simmental breed delivers on all areas of suckler beef production. He has purchased several pedigree bulls through Roscommon premier sales over the years. “There is a pick and choice at the November sale,” he remarked.

Catalogue and photos

You can find all sale details on where you will find the catalogue, photographs, and videos of many of the bulls and heifers entered for sale.

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