Buoyant prices had vendors happy at the Warrnambool first cross cattle sale on Friday, December 29, at which 1321 cattle were yarded.
Joined heifers sold from between $1850-$2300 while most heifers with calves at foot sold between $2300-$2500 and to a top of $3025.
Most cows with calves at foot sold for between $1800-$2400.
Most of the unjoined heifers sold from $1200-$1600 while most of the smaller heifers went for $450-$950.
The top price of $3025 a unit for 13 Angus Friesian heifers with Limousin calves at foot went to Darren Askew from Mindarra Park at Benalla who had agisted the cattle for about 10 months at Hawkesdale.
The top price was the cream for what Mr Askew described as a “fantastic sale.”
He sold 48 heifers with calves at the sale, gaining from $2725-$2925 for the other units to give him an excellent return for his efforts in presenting heifers with calves that were “up and going.”
Mr Askew said he had previously focused on selling pregnant springer cattle but had begun selling in Warrnambool to target the niche market for heifers and calves that had already been vaccinated, marked and given other treatments.
He said there was a strong market for calves that had been well prepared.
The calves were born in November-December to two and half year old heifers.
Another happy vendor was Dan Carey of Warrumyea Rise at Panmure who sold 160 Angus Friesian, Hereford Friesian and Charolais Friesian unjoined heifers.
The Charolais Friesians sold to a top of $2650 for three while a pen of 10 sold for $2500 each.
The Angus Friesians sold to a top of $2250 each and the Hereford Friesnas to a top of $2200.
Mr Carey said the strong prices were because there was a shortage of female cattle.
He said good prices for prime cattle throughout the year had encouraged a lot of producers to sell off stock and they were now buying female animals to build up their herds.
Henry McKenry of “Berribank,” Coleraine, gained $2010 a unit for 39 two and a half year old Angus Friesians in calf to a Limousin bull
Mr McKenry, who has been selling at the Warrnambool F1 sale for more than 14 years, said the price was abouyt $50 a head less than last year.
Mr McKenry said there was a lot of the same standard of cattle at the sale but all were selling well.
His family company, McKenry Partnership, also bought 18 16-17 month old Angus Friesians for $1275 a head to produce calves for the family’s vealer herd.
Mr McKenry, 85, said he had never seen returns as prosperous in livestock production as they had been this year.
Indicative prices from the sale for joined heifers were:
W.R. Rhook, Macarthur, 7 Angus Friesian, $2350 each; RT & SJ McClure, 10 Angus Friesian, $2600.
Other prices were: JD & EA Keogh, 7 Angus heifers with 7 Limousin calves, $2700.
Unjoined heifers: Fern Grove, 11 Angus Friesian, $1600; Dalma Park, 18 Angus Friesian, $1600.