61 export-tested heifers – which were scanned suitable for breeding – levelled at just over €2,510 at the Park and Na Crú Farm’s annual maiden heifer sale at Tullamore Mart last month.
Prices topped at €5,250 for a November-2020-born Belgian Blue-cross-Limousin heifer, a Boherard Hurricane ET daughter.
Two herd owners in Rochfortbridge, Co Westmeath, Ronan Flanagan and Anthony Hyland, hosted the sale, which attracted buyers from all corners of the country.
According to the herdowners, the sale on Saturday, October 8th, 2022, offered prospective purchasers choice, quality, power and colour.
Ahead of the sale, they described their offering as a “exceptional batch of heifers including roan, Belgian Blue, Limousin, Charolais, Blonde and Simmental-crosses”.
“These are high quality, grass-fed feminine heifers with serious potential to make excellent cows and they are also ideally suited for top-end in-calf heifer sales.”
Flanagan explained that the sale attracted “many” repeat buyers, which, combined with new customers, resulted in a 100% clearance.
Speaking following the sale, he said: “26 Belgian Blue-cross heifers averaged €2670 and provided us with our sale topper.”
“4 Charolais-cross heifers levelled at €2,437 and topped at €3,000.”
“Our 31 Limousin-cross heifers sold for €2,501/head and peaked at €4,5100. We had one Parthenaise-cross heifer, which changed hands for €2,050.”
“Lastly, we have five Simmental-cross heifers, which topped at €2,350 and averaged out at €2,060.”
“In summary, two lots sold for over €5,000, a further two fetched between €4,000-€5,000, 12 were snapped up for between €3,000-€4,000 and 28 entries made from €2,000-€3,000.”
“We hope all of these heifers go on to breed successfully for you, and hope to see you all next year.”
“We are delighted with the sale and wish the best of luck to all the new owners and thank you to everyone who attended the sale and those who bid online.
“Thank you to Tullamore Mart and all their staff and auctioneer, Tom Cox, for their professionalism. We would also like to thank anyone who helped us in any way along the way,” Ronan concluded.
Maiden heifer suppliers
Over the years, Flanaghan and Hyland’s farms were involved in beef production, but they found that “profits from this are marginal”.
They previously told That’s Farming editor, Catherina Cunnane that they both were buying “good” quality weanling heifers and selling types suited for breeding privately and finished the remainder.
“We had repeat customers coming back to us every year, so we decided to try to buy all heifers which were suitable for breeding and have our own sale.”
“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,” added the farmers, who both work full-time off-farm.
“We have noticed a huge price gap between the nice breeding heifer and the serious quality breeding heifer.”
“We travel around the country 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,” they added.
They firmly believe there is a future in suckler farming in Ireland with the “good prices and the passion some farmers show at the ringside”.
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