His views are supported by Meat & Livestock Australia, which reported in Q4 last year, female slaughter remained a concern for future beef production, with 3.2 million head processed during the first eight months of 2015, up 26 per cent on the five-year average.
Not only was the total cattle slaughter historically high, but in 2015 females accounted for over half of the total adult cattle kill – up from the 10-year average of 47pc.
Mr Osborne said people were realising that the breeding herd had got too low. MLA forecasts that the domestic cattle herd will drop to just above 26 million in 2016.
Limited supply bodes well for producers with quality breeding females to sell. Although, buyers for abattoirs and feedlots have continued to buy a large proportion of heifers at Victoria’s January weaner sales.
Mansfield producer Dave Esser fended off competition from such buyers and other local agents to buy a pen of 20 quality Angus heifers (consigned by Pulitano Pastoral) at Yea’s Upper Goulburn Rivers Classic Annual Weaner Sale on Friday (January 15). They were eventually knocked down for $1200 – only $80 shy of the sale’s top-priced steers. Mr Esser plans to grow them out and sell them joined later in the year, predicting the demand for breeding females to grow.
Mr Osborne is also hopeful for good support for his annual draft of pregnancy-tested in-calf (PTIC) heifers, which he will sell this coming Friday (January 22) at Yea’s female feature sale.
The family’s draft of 120 Angus heifers will include the last Pert Angus bred heifers (out of Pert Angus cows by Pert Angus bulls) that they will ever offer, as the Pert Angus stud has been dispersed.
The heifers are in-calf to low birth weight Pert Angus bulls to commence calving on March 1 for six weeks, and were pregnancy tested by Delatite Veterinary Services on January 15.
Mr Osborne had been buying Pert Angus cattle some 10 years, and said that they were good, strong cows, with excellent temperaments, that produced excellent calves that have invariably sold well as weaners.
Mr Osborne expects cattle prices to remain high for at least a few years because the need for protein around the world was getting stronger, and Australia’s herd would need to rebuild.
Rodwells’ Adam Mountjoy said Friday’s sale would feature annual drafts of PTIC females, select lines of unjoined heifers and cows and calves, and would kick off at 10.30am.
He said the offering would include the “renowned offerings” from the following vendors:
Cows and calves
- AJ Fulford- Yea: 30 x 30 Stabilizer Cows 1st & 2nd CAF re dep Stabilizer Bulls from 1.11- 2.01
- Sue Morgan - Tylden: 27 x 27 Angus Heifers & Calves, Aug/Sept drop dep Candlebark Bulls 15.11
- Blackwood Park - Buxton: 20 x 20 Angus Cows & Calves, Aug/ Sept drop CAF , re depast since calving
- Copperlake - Caveat: 20 x 20 Angus & Hfd x Heifers with Angus CAF , NRJ
- Strathglen Station- Strath Creek: 120 Angus Heifers 2 1/2 yrs PTIC to Pert Angus Bulls to cc 1st March for 6 Weeks
- Dueran Pastoral - Mansfield: 100 Angus Heifers 2 yrs PTIC to Anvil Angus Bulls too cc mid Feb for 7 Weeks
- Glenfiddich P/L- Highlands: 54 Angus Heifers 2 1/2 yrs PTIC to Pert Angus Bulls to cc March 6 weeks
- Three Sisters - Flowerdale: 45 HFD & HFD / SH x Heifers 2 yrs PTIC Glendaloch Angus Bull to cc March for 8 weeks
- Greenhills Herefords- Yea: 42 2 & 2 1/2 yr Hereford Hfrs PTIC to Mawarra Hereford Bulls to cc Feb for 4 weeks
Un Joined Heifers
- J & TM Mc Cormack "Alencon " Molesworth *EU Accredited*: 100 Hereford Heifers, de-horned , Mar/Apr 15 drop by Tarcombe, Melville Park & Red Hill Hereford bulls.
- Switzerland Pastoral- Yea: 50 Poll Charolais & Angus Heifers 14-15 mths, Paringa Bld NSM
- Dueran Pastoral- Mansfield: 40 Hereford Heifers, de-horned, 12-13 mths
- Paul Webster Past - Yea: Hereford Heifers, de-horned 16-18, Glendan Park & Errindale Bld