The heaviest steers were slightly cheaper than at the previous week’s sales, but the other categories sold to comparable high rates. The buying gallery included commission buyers, including with northern NSW and Queensland orders, and a live export order.
Angus steers topped the sale at $1280, and the top-priced pen of heifers was not far behind, reaching $1200.
Lortonvale Farms, Yarck, got the top price for its 20 Simmental-Angus cross steers, which were knocked down to Garrison Feedlots for $1280. Its draft of 41 steers averaged $1164.
Hot on its tail was a pen of 21 Angus steers offered by Les and Marg Bennett, Woodend. Mr Bennett said the family had struggled with a lack of feed and he estimated his first pen weighed an average of around 380 kilograms and made $1270 to return about 334c/kg. This price was more than $200 above their top-priced pen last year. The Bennetts’ draft of 42 steers av $1169 and 40 heifers av $992.
Malcolm White, Inverugie Pastoral, Yea, consigned 120 Angus and black baldy steers, Anvil blood, of which the heaviest 43 made $1140, purchased by commission buyer Denis Henderson. Incredibly, a pen of his lighter steers sold for more at $1160 to Elders Alexandra. Overall, his draft made an average of $1103 for the steers and his 48 heifers av $945.
Mr White was pleased with the prices, although he said the tops were probably a little bit softer than the first of the state’s weaner sales. He said the cattle had withstood the dry season well.
“We’ve had virtually no run off this year – we had 403 millimetres for the year, compared to our normal about 650mm, and we don’t feed out, except at calving in February/March we might have to feed the cows and we’re hoping for an early break,” Mr White said.
He said the family had also sold heifers in October to a live export order, and had not kept any as replacements.
Habbies Howe’s draft of 140 Angus steers, Team Te Mania blood and bred, EU accredited, sold to a top of $1160 for a pen of 23; and av $1087. Webb Pastoral, Glenburn, sold 58 Angus steers to $1160, av $1104.
Robert Gough, Mansfield, was happy with his 88 Angus steers, Anvil and Welcome Swallow bloods, av $1040, although he said the top price of $1150 was probably a bit down on recent rates. His 61 heifers av $906.
The small run of Hereford steers topped at $1210, for a pen of 17 Chartwell Farms ‘EU accredited Poll Herefords by Allendale bulls, knocked down to Rodwells Kilmore. Its draft of 29 steers av $1090 and 31 heifers av $802.
Euro-cross steers topped at $1170 for a pen of 14 Charolais steers account Maindetta.
Rodwells’ Adam Mountjoy said heavy steers made prices equivalent to 310-330c/kg; medium weight steers (300kg) 340-360c/kg and lighter steers (240-270kg) 360-400c/kg.
“The top four or five lines of heavier steers were probably cheaper than currents rates, but the balance met expectations,” Mr Mountjoy said.
A highlight of the sale was the spirited bidding for well grown Angus heifers. A pen of 20 Pulitano Pastoral Angus heifers, by Welcome Swallow bulls, were knocked down at $1200, to Dave Esser, Mansfield. He bought a second pen of 15 at $1090. He said he selected the heifers on their good breeding and the family knew the property manager, and he was confident that they were very quiet cattle. Mr Esser plans to join the heifers in March and sell them as PTIC heifers.
Mr Mountjoy said heifers sold very well, with the top-price of $1200 being “exceptional”. He said the heavy and mid-weight heifers made prices equivalent to 300-320c/kg.