• Factors associated with selling price of cattle at livestock marts

      McHugh, Noirin; Fahey, Alan G.; Evans, R. D.; Berry, Donagh (Cambridge University Press, 2010-02)
      The objective of this study was to determine the factors associated with selling price of animals at livestock marts around Ireland. Data consisted of four distinct maturity categories: calves (2 to 84 days of age, n553 838); weanlings (6 to 12 months of age, n519 972); post-weanlings (12 to 36 months of age, n593 081) and cows (.30 months to 12 years of age, n594 839); sold through livestock marts between 2000 and 2008. Factors associated with animal price were determined within each maturity category separately using mixed models; random effects were mart, date of sale nested within mart, and herd of origin nested within year of sale. Mean selling price was h157, h580, h655 and h592 for calves, weanlings, post-weanlings and cows, respectively. The greatest prices were paid for singleton crossbred male calves, weanlings and post-weanlings from older dams. With the exception of the Aberdeen Angus, beef breeds and their crosses consistently received higher prices than their dairy counterparts across all four maturity categories; increased proportion of Belgian Blue and Charolais was associated with greater prices compared with other beef breeds. When live-weight was included in the multiple regression models the association between price and all factors regressed toward zero but most factors remained associated with price. The highest price was recorded in the spring months for calves, post-weanlings and cows, and in the autumn months for weanlings. Results from this study may be used to help farmers make more informed management decisions, as well as provide information for bio-economic models for evaluating alternative production systems or estimating economic values.