Record breaking day

Record breaking day


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The home of the Hereford certainly presented itself very well during the Elders annual Mountain Cattle calf sales at Benambra, Tuesday, Ensay then Omeo, Wednesday, March 14 and 15.

The home of the Hereford certainly presented itself very well during the Elders annual Mountain Cattle calf sales at Benambra, Tuesday, Ensay then Omeo, Wednesday, March 14 and 15.

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A magnificent day in the high country. The Elders selling team sold weaned Hereford steers to $1640 at Ensay, then $1710 at Omeo, Wednesday. Steers were 11-13 months, 2016 drop calves.

A magnificent day in the high country. The Elders selling team sold weaned Hereford steers to $1640 at Ensay, then $1710 at Omeo, Wednesday. Steers were 11-13 months, 2016 drop calves.

These three sales were dedicated Hereford and Hereford-Shorthorn sales, and buyers certainly showed their preference for the breed. Wednesday morning, at Ensay, saw the usual high quality line up of Hereford steers and heifers (1288 head).

Repeat buyers opened the sale purchasing the first few pens, and setting an Ensay top price of $1640. EO&DI Newcomen, sold a total of 120 steers from $1380-$1640, which were estimated to weigh from 320-420 kilograms liveweight. This put them in a bracket of 390-423c/kg. For their weight, it put them at prices not seen since January, and maybe never before.

Most of the steers, both Hereford and Hereford-Shorthorn steers, sold between $1250 and the top price with younger steers from $850-$1200.

Buyers then took to the road to Omeo, where a yarding of around 1800 steers and heifers. This yarding was similar quality and condition as Ensay, and weights of the cattle were also similar.

Heads knocked together from the very first pen, which included Thomas Foods International (TFI), Harmony Farms and Graeme Osborne. The first few pens were hotly contested and sold $1410-$1710. There was much conjecture as to their weight with estimates varying between 360 and 420kgs.

Giving these first few pens were from 380-420kgs, this put their liveweight price between 407-450c/kg. This set new records in Dollar terms, and also the pace for the rest of the sale.

Wrest assured that tall producers went home very happy. Competition for both of these Wednesday sales was heavily supported by South and West Gippsland.

PC&CG Faithfull sold 110 steers from $1250-$1710, and JW&GJ Crisp, 137 steers from $1150-$1640. It took close to 40 pens before prices fell below $1250, and the lower prices were only due to age. These young steers sold from a base price of $970, and over both sales, steers averaged around $1190, which is a great average for 2016 drop calves.

David Hill, Elders Omeo, spoke to Stock & Land market analyst Peter Kostos after the final sale at Omeo, and said that despite reduced numbers, calves sold very well.

Heavily influenced by EU accredited steers and heifers, only a few pens purchased by TFI, stayed in the EU system.

The top heifer prices were influenced by competition for the traditional Shorthorn-Hereford (Strawberry Roan) heifers, purchased for future breeders. AH&BJ Ah Sam, sold 38 such heifers for $1440 and over both markets they sold from $1120-$1440.

While these were not record prices, they still created a marginal difference from straight bred Hereford heifers. Most of the Hereford heifers sold between $880&$1270.

BC&AJ Newcomen sold heifers at Ensay from $935-$1190, EO&DI Newcomen, $920-$1240, At Omeo, WC Flannigan sold 84 heifers between $750&$1270 and AC&NH Smith, 46 heifers from $920-$1340.

All in these were two great days of selling, but the Herefords, especially on Wednesday, stole the limelight.

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