Typical of this time of year, this yarding included a fair selection of dairy and dairy cross cattle, as some producers lock up paddocks for hay.
However, the priority for many steer and bullock fatteners was the numerous pens of british breed steers, which ranged from young steers to older yearlings.
PJ&JM Allen, Budgeree, sold 4 Angus cross bullocks for the market’s top price of $1810, but it was an annual draft of Angus steers, offered by Greenwald Pastoral Company, that showed the true intent of bullock fatteners.
Malcolm Davies, Greenwald Past Co, sold 124 Angus & Angus-Hereford steers, Dunoon blood, from $1290-$1656 to average a solid $1424.
Most of the cattle penned came from a broader South Gippsland area, and complimented by some good drafts from Central Gippsland too. SR&BJ Hookey, Sale, sold 31 high quality Angus steers to $1630, av $1604, and Golden Gully Farms, Driffield, sold 30 Angus steers from $1370-$1660, av $1544.
Coming from further east, Amberley P/L, Nicholson, sold 56 Angus steers, 14-16 months, from $1370-$1460, av $1428. These and most other yearling steers sold for the equivalent of 365-395 cents per kilogram liveweight, and while this was lower than the previous sale, these liveweight prices were still 40-60c/kg lwt above recent steer and bullock prices.
Not all producers were looking for older yearling steers. Competition, which came mostly from local districts, sought younger steers, 7-12 months old. Some good examples were, D&P Burns, Stony Creek, selling 20 Angus steers (294kg) for $1250, or 428c/kg lwt.
K Perry, Yinnar, offered 11 Angus steers, making $1210, and N Chandler, “Grafton”, Hedley, 45 Angus steers, McIndoe bld, from $1240-$1380. P&S Campbell, Mardan, sold 27 Angus steers for $1285. While the equivalent liveweight prices were lower, these younger steers stilled reached the top in those terms.
Thankfully, numerous producers still prefer the Friesian and dairy cross steers and bullocks to fatten. S&N McRae, Nambrok, sold 38 such steers from $890-$1360, to average $1329.
Throughout the sale, numerous pens of younger dairy breed steers and calves were offered. These sold from $400-$700 for most with older Friesians to just over $1000.
In past years SR&BJ Hookey have sold their heifers close to their home at Sale. However, they offered 42 prime yearling Angus heifers at Leongatha, and all three pens, totalling 42 head, sold for $1400. Processors, feedlotters and breeders all competed for these, and other pens of good quality yearling heifers.
Brian Summers, Fish Creek, does not believe this good spring season will last, and sold 74 of his Angus heifers. These sold from $1160-$1350, av $1253, and only time and Mother Nature know whether Brian is correct. However, all heifers sold quite well, albeit at lower prices than two weeks ago.
White Creek Pastoral sold 72 heifers from $890-$1200, and many of the young heifers sold from $650-$900. Barttrace Farms, Mirboo, sold 40 heifers between $650 & $890.
To say the offering of 77 cows and calves was very mixed is an understatement with some very young, light, and dairy bred outfits penned. This created a very big range in prices, but most of the better bred heifers, and cows and calves sold from $1260-$2400.
Demand has eased but this is relevant to price changes for cull cows. C&L Daley sold a single cow and calf for the top price with a smattering of prices lower than this.