GVM highlights ‘weighty’ issue for Limerick farmers

Donal O'Regan

Reporter:

Donal O'Regan

Email:

donal.oregan@limerickleader.ie

Cattle

Farmers selling cattle outside of the mart are being reminded of the importance of not only getting their cattle weighed but to also see them being weighed.

GVM wants to highlight to farmers selling cattle outside of the mart the importance of not only getting their cattle weighed but to also see them being weighed.

GVM place a lot of cattle direct from farm to farm and called to a farmer a couple of weeks ago to look at his animals. The farmer asked our representative what he thought the animals weighed.

Our person estimated that they were at least 480/485kgs. The farmer expressed surprise at this as another potential buyer had already looked at the animals and estimated their weight at 450kgs. Unsurprisingly, this buyer was offering a fancy price based on this weight.

We sourced a buyer for these animals to weigh at Kilmallock Mart. The animals weighed 493kgs. At €2/kg, this equates to a price of €986 per animal. The animals in this case weighed 43kgs more than the other buyer had estimated. At €2 per kg, that is €86. It was very easy for the other buyer in this case to offer even €2.05 per kg; at an estimated weight of 450kgs, this gives a price of €923 – a potential loss per animal to the farmer of €63.

We are aware that some fancy prices per kg can be offered or paid, but we would warn farmers to be very careful. Sellers should also be aware of the potential for weight loss if animals have to travel long journeys to be weighed or even sold in a mart. A 500kg animal could easily lose 20 kgs if travelling on a long journey or waiting around to be weighed. This quickly negates any seemingly fancy price per kg being offered or obtained.

For any animals sourced through GVM Direct, the animals are weighed directly when brought into the mart and we always encourage both buyer and seller to be present. It is equally important for a buyer to be present when cattle are weighed.

GVM note that most cattle are traded in marts. In the last 10 years, Kilmallock Mart has invested over €1.5 million in upgrading facilities to improve the comfort and service for both people and animals in the Mart.

The mart has eight intake bays which ensures that animals are taken in quickly and efficiently with no delays and queues. Cattle are allocated plenty of room in pens and with three and four rings operating at times, cattle are sold quickly and in the peak of their condition.

GVM would also like to let sellers know that animals do not have to be booked in and that pens are allocated as cattle arrive. GVM which is backed by net assets of over €24 million can pay sellers within four days of sale by electronic funds transfer. For buyers, all animals are penned as they come out of the ring enabling buyers to remove their animals quickly and efficiently from the mart.

GVM which is owned by 5,000 farmer shareholders also has Marts in Abbeyfeale and Dromcollogher, in Tullamore, Co. Offaly and in Carrigallen, Co. Leitrim.

GVM was one of the first marts to introduce live streaming of sales on the LSL system. This ensures that buyers can bid and buy from anywhere in the country and guarantees stiff competition for all stock.