Laurence Dooley has held an annual sale of in-calf heifers in Elphin Mart for a number of years now.
The heifers, most of which were red Limousins, are purchased in marts in the west and bred to easy-calving Limousin stock bulls.
Heifers were all scanned seven- to nine-months in-calf on the date of sale, due to calve in the next two months.
There has been a renewed confidence in the west this year in suckling and suckler farmers haven’t been afraid to go the distance for top-quality heifers.
The 100 heifers that went under the hammer would be described as good straight commercial heifers, not pampered in any way, with no show stoppers.
@farmersjournal in Elphin mart with #martbids. Sale of 100 in calf heifers going well, few northern customers tipping away as well. This February 2018 born Limousin in calf heifer was scanned in calf 8.5 months to the @irishlimousin bull and sold for €1760. @FJBeef pic.twitter.com/7d3BDqAsnO— Adam Woods (@ajwwoods) January 8, 2021
They might, however, be a better buy than some of the muscle machines being purchased for breeding at special sales in the last few months.
The sale was run 100% online on the Irish Farmers Journal MartBids platform. Northern customers have been playing an important part in the trade in Elphin in the last few months.
Brexit hasn’t changed anything and these men were back online on Friday, with a number of heifers being sold for export.
@farmersjournal in Elphin mart with #martbids. This April 2018 born Limousin heifer was scanned in calf 7.75 months in calf to the Limousin bull selling at €2400 heading north. @FJBeef pic.twitter.com/mJg7WDF7TS— Adam Woods (@ajwwoods) January 8, 2021
Top call on the night went to an October 2017-born Limousin-cross heifer. She was a five-star heifer with a replacement index of €131, was scanned in calf to a pedigree Limousin bull seven months and was sold for €2,680 to an NI customer.
@farmersjournal in Elphin mart with #martbids. This April 2017 born @irishlimousin Limousin 2nd calving cow with her Sept @irishcharolais heifer calf scanned in calf 4 months again to CH or LM bull sold for €2080. @FJBeef pic.twitter.com/bsKCKMRXTl— Adam Woods (@ajwwoods) January 8, 2021
Next highest price went to an April 2018-born Limousin-cross heifer. She had five stars, with a replacement index of €122 and her time up to a Limousin bull. She was knocked down at €2,600.
Overall 100 heifers sold to average €1,714/head, with the higher money going to heavier older heifers.