Elphin Mart had a special show and sale of dry cows on Monday night, with close to 100 dry cows being presented for sale.

Good-quality heavy dry cows are scarce on the ground, with many suckler farmers offloading a little earlier this year to avoid the expense of winter feeding and capitalising on the good trade.

Trade was good, with over €3/kg being paid for the higher-quality younger cows.

In general, good-quality heavy cows ranged in price from €2.50/kg to €3/kg.

Store cows were back at €2.20/kg to €2.50/kg. Top call of the night went to a July 2019-born Limousin cow weighing 900kg and selling for €2,630 (€2.92/kg).

The cow kill is up about 17,000 head compared with 2023 figures for the same period.

While the majority of these are dairy cows, the number of birth registrations from the suckler herd continues to drop back.

Suckler registrations are currently back 22,080 head on 2023.

Speaking to the Irish Farmers Journal, Elphin Mart manager Ciaran Lynch said: “We are seeing a lot of farmers cut back on numbers.

"A lot of farmers are also going organic in Roscommon, so that means they are getting out of cows and buying dry cattle.

"That’s good news for the organic stores, but you would worry about the long-term future of suckling if numbers drop off a lot.

"I have loads of customers for top-quality weanlings, but if the numbers drop off, will those customers still be here?”

In pictures

This May 2019-born Limousin cow weighed 695kg and sold for €2,280 (€3.28/kg).

This July 2019-born Limousin cow weighed 900kg and sold for €2,630 (€2.92/kg).

This May 2017-born Shorthorn cross cow weighed 590kg and sold for €1,320 (€2.24/kg).

This April 2015-born Charolais cow weighed 705kg and sold for €1,810(€2.57/kg).

This May 2015-born Limousin cow weighed 865kg and sold for €2,260 (€2.61/kg).

This April 2015-born Limousin cow weighed 830kg and sold for €2,280 (€2.75/kg).