The yarding of 2958 head started with heavier steers, over 300 kilograms liveweight, which were hotly contested by commission buyers, including with northern orders, and Landmark International.
North-east Victorian buyers were also active.
Jim Renkin and family, Lindsay Park, Lima, had the top-priced pen of the sale. Their pen of 19 Charolais-Angus cross steers, 390kg, 9-10 months, by Chenu Charolais bulls sold for $1275. The second pen of nine steers, same breeding, made $1105, and a pen of eight straight Angus calves (out of his first-calving heifers) made $1160. Other pens of Charolais-cross steers were hotly contested. Mr Renkin said despite the poor spring and summer in Lima, the cattle had held up very well thanks to their breeding.
He sells autumn drop calves at this sale every year and said yesterday’s prices were “...the best I’ve ever seen in my lifetime”.
“And that applies to all commodities; it’s the best time to be in farming,” he said.
Generally, the yarding was made up of smaller lines as many producers sold cattle earlier than usual in the pre-Christmas sales as the region’s spring cut out very short. The yarding also included a lot of spring drop calves, with the black calves still keenly chased by commission buyers.
The sale kicked off with Angus steers. Andare Holdings’ pen of eight Angus steers at 404kg were purchased by Landmark Wangaratta for $1250. Sretlaw Park, Euroa, also sold 13 Angus steers, 8-10 months, Connamara blood, 378kg also for $1250, to commission buyer Graham Ward. C Joyce’s 10 Angus steers, 373kg, sold for $1235 to commission buyer Duncan Brown; and Plover Plains’ 24 Angus steers, 370kg, made $1235.
Russell Mawson, Landmark Euroa, said the yarding went from about 1500 to almost 3000 essentially “overnight” because of farmers’ growing concern about lack of feed and water.
“Despite that, the cattle presented in very good order and the quality keep coming,” Mr Mawson said.
He said the sale overall was 5c/kg easier than Barnawartha’s sale last week, and was similar to the rates achieved at Euroa’s pre-Christmas sale.
He said heavier setters made around 330c/kg, and the lighter steers made 360-365c/kg.
Mr Mawson said heifers were $100 to $150 dearer than Euroa’s last sale, with the best quality of them making 320-330c/kg, thanks to consistent support from commission buyers.
Robert Love, Jumbuck Park, Violet Town, had the top-priced weaner heifers with a pen of 20 Angus heifers, by Witherswoos bulls and New Zealand bloodlines, 9-10 months, that made $1075. The seconds, a pen of 16, made $990.
“There’s some exceptional breeding in those heifers,” Mr Love said.
“We hope buyers get a return on investment so they come back and buy them again next year.”
Mr Love sold his steers in the sale of early December and was also thrilled with the prices they achieved too.
The Range, Balmuttum, had the most cattle in the sale at 138 mixed sex Angus weaners, Lawsons blood, and its steers topped at $1000 for 34, and its others sold at 11 at $980, 18 at $895 and 16 at $830. The Range’s heifers sold for seven at $900 and 17 at $880.
Volume vendors Bob and Jean Duff, Duffield, Euroa, were very pleased with the prices their cattle achieved. Their Riga and Newblax blood Angus steers made $1200 for 15 and $1065 for 14; and the heifers made $1010 for 15 and $935 for 13.
“I reckon it’s the best lot of weaners we’ve produced,” Mrs Duff said.