Compared to the 4200 head yarded last year, on Friday, Ballarat agents could muster only 1450 store cattle following the big wet of the past three months.
Restockers and feeders, mainly from the state’s west, remained eager to fill empty paddocks and feedyards and drove prices to further new highs especially the yarding’s light end, where numerous sales surpassed 500-550c/kg.
Crawford Dowling auctioneer Paul Constable said the small yarding saw a number of buyers go home empty-handed.
“There were plenty trying to buy but many didn’t want the paid the rate,” he said.
TB White and Sons co-principal and auctioneer Leo White said the yarding was the smallest at Ballarat for some time, and with these latest falls, big numbers would not be likely any time soon.
Opening the sale, a yard of 12 Murray Grey steers, 542kg, made $1720 a head. These were offered by Blackwood Park while a small pen of five Angus steers, 494kg, made $1560 for Mountain Creek.
These two lots were the only ones with weights exceeding 450kg.
PD Toohey and Sons sold a yard of 10 Angus steers, 442kg, at $1580.
Telegraph Road sold yards of Angus steers, 436kg and 400kg, at $1550 and $1500 respectively plus a lighter yard weighed at 389kg sold for $1480.
As a measure of the monthly price increase, Ian Wiley, Mt Mercer, sold a draft of his Daelroem Angus steers, 418kg, at a breathtaking $1670. A month ago, he sold a similar yard of Angus steers, 408kg, at $1550.
At the head of the weaner run, the Barclay family, Beeac, sold a draft of Mingawalla Murdeduke-blood Angus steers, 307kg, at $1370.
The Hamilton family, Ararat continued their sales of the past few months with another draft of Angus steers, 333kg, that made $1430 (last month’s draft was 364kg and made $1380).
Williams Ag, Skipton, was another multi-lot vendor selling yards of Angus steers 314kg and 289kg at $1440 and $1360 respectively. Equating to 458 and 470c/kg, these steers were sold at the top end of the price spectrum, similar to the sale of the Trotter Farming Angus steers, at $1270 that were offered unweighed and estimated at 270kg.
Heifer sales were headlined by 23 Daelroem Angus, 380kg, $1460, 20 Williams Ag Angus, 315kg, $1270 and 28, 282kg, $1210 along with 29 Cushing family Angus heifers, 265kg, sold at $1140.
A mixed selection of breeding females included three Angus cows, re-depastured, with six month-old Angus calves at-foot drawing top money at $2690. These were sold by K&M Tyquin. Other cow and calf outfits made $1900-$2340.