Female prices sizzle under the blazing sun

Female prices sizzle under the blazing sun


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A wider range of buyers bid more fiercely for cattle at Hamilton and Ballarat's feature female sales.

Many thanks to Bruce “Reddas” Redpath and my newest Stock & Land colleague, Andrew Mole, (whom I’m yet to meet) for penning recent ‘What’s In Store’ columns while I enjoyed a short break viewing the wonderful sights and tasting the culinary delights of Tasmania.

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I must say from the time we parked our vehicle on the boat, the pride Tasmanians have in their island state was obvious for all to see.

Returning to the saddle at mainland store markets late last week, however, was a hot and steamy affair as everyone will attest. With temperatures soaring in the high 30s and mid 40s it was a testament to those who offered cattle in last week’s markets, especially in the two female sales in the west of the state, just how good and how comfortable the cattle appeared.

The Hamilton yarding was a delight to behold. Predominantly Hereford, the Hamilton yarding was outstanding display – sadly helped by the dispersal of one of the Western District’s finest white-faced herds which was eagerly snapped by buyers from three states.

Tim and Jenny Hutton’s Cheviot Hills-Hutton Partnership female and grown steer yarding – with 40 years of South Boorook-bloodlines – sol, to coin an apt phrase, like hot cakes.

Their mature breeding cows were eagerly sought at prices between $2300 and $2675 a head while their older cows, aged to 11 and 12 years. won plenty of support in the $1800-$2200 price bracket.

If there was a softness the sale of their young first-calf heifers was a little sticky as the second and third drafts from a line of 100 heifers sold at $2100 and $2050 after the tops made $2550.

Attempting to use this market as gauge to the possible outcome for the following day’s Ballarat female sale however was like chalk and cheese. Whereas the Hamilton yarding was mainly white-faced with some black, Ballarat’s yarding was almost totally black with only a splash of colour here and there.

The highlight of the Ballarat yarding and its result, no doubt, was the five individual sales of joined Angus heifers that drew prices of $3000 a head or better on the day.

Topping at $3275, Stock & Land staff believe these are the highest female sales in the state so far this season, and oddly enough hardly a pen was sold out of the Western District.

An aspect of last week’s markets that I found encouraging was the processor support for stock to background and place on feed as a buffer for the winter supply.

The field at both centres was much broader and more intensely competitive than usual, particularly for this time of the year. In particular the inclusion of a southern Queensland order for heifers for feeding in South Australia was an interesting and encouraging sign for future demand.

Shane Maher, with brother Basil, Newlyn two weeks ago snared a record $256 for lambs, and Friday a season's high $3275 for joined heifers.

Shane Maher, with brother Basil, Newlyn two weeks ago snared a record $256 for lambs, and Friday a season's high $3275 for joined heifers.

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