With the district's annual weaner sales completed more than a month ago, decent lines of local breeders’ cattle were not abundant, with the mixed quality reflected in the resultant prices.
At the top of the grown steer run, where prices traded mostly from $110 to $1370/head, four mid-level lot feeders secured the bulk of the penning amid sporadic inquiry from local finishers.
Yearling-off and young weaners, which mostly made $850 to $1080, were mostly absorbed by local backgrounders with no interest from distant travellers.
Heifer drafts, which made $850 to a top of $1110 a head, saw the lead pens contested by local operators returning cattle to the paddock for breeding, while the lighter drafts were consumed mostly by Swan Hill abattoir and Garrison Feedlot operator, Robert Woodward.
Meanwhile before the sale Murrindindi Shire Council, the operators of the Yea saleyards, officially opened a new $787,255 extension and upgrades to the Yea saleyards.
The improvements included 32 additional holding pens planned to accommodate an extra 640 head of cattle, the construction of a scale house and weighbridge facility and a fixed Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) scanner.
For the transport industry, a fixed B-Double loading ramp and forcing pen was installed to improve loading safety, while a roof to cover the new holding pens and an enlarged hospital pen area includes lighting under the entire roof of the extended area.
Murrindindi Shire mayor Cr Charlie Bisset said the investment in the saleyards with the added infrastructure and services would also lift the centre’s profile which would see them becoming a competitive option for the cattle industry in North East Victoria.
“These improvements will enable us to provide a local and regional option for our district’s farming communities by reducing their transport costs and their animals’ time spent on trucks,” Cr Bisset said.
“Along with the saleyards’ increased capacity, the introduction of the combined weighing and scanning process has also provided local training and employment opportunities with 14 casual and part time workers engaged from the district.
Twenty workers were also employed during the Saleyards’ construction phase.
“The addition of new holding pens means cattle can be held for longer periods, both pre and post sale, freeing up our formal selling pens.
"The scales and scale house are now a key draw card for both vendors and buyers, adding to the existing advantages of selling and buying through the saleyards.
“Our fixed B-Double loading ramp was built in response to the increasing use of B-Double trucks now transporting cattle and will reduce potential injury risks associated with loading two decks of cattle.”