Nearing the annual calf sales, which commence Wednesday, January 3, last Thursday’s regular Barnawartha store market, included the first of the 2017 drop calves.
Also penned was a very mixed offering of steers and heifers, from yearlings to very young calves.
As usual, the sale opened with cows and calves, and this sale offered 201 outfits of varying age, weight and quality.
Top of the list was 32 Charolais cows and calves, mostly 3-5 years, with some excellent calves at foot, 6-14 weeks of age.
Large of frame, but in leaner condition the cows were doing a great job of rearing their offspring. Strong competition saw them sell between $2200&$2340.
Some other sales were noted between $1920&$2220 with numerous others from $1480-$1800.
Roche Pastoral Co, Adelong, sold 29 Poll Hereford cows with CAF, 4-8 weeks, by Merriwah & Seven Bardot bulls, for $1800.
Many of the cows and calves were offered in smaller lot sizes from singles to 5 head.
The penning of yearling, and younger steers, was very mixed for weight, breeding and quality. This did have an affect on competition at times, but it was fair to say that most of the steers sold at unchanged rates.
A mixture of yearling steers sold in a broad price range, due to that mixture of quality. CE&SR Barton, Chiltern, sold 15 Angus steers for $1425, and W Margery, Barnawartha, 18 Angus steers for $1400.
Solid competition for these better bred yearlings saw them equal 297-316 cents per kilogram liveweight.
One producer, “Little River”, Warrenbayne, had an annual clean out, selling a mixture of older and younger steers. These 211 steers, European cross, Angus, Hereford and their crosses, sold from a base of $935 to a top of $1235, and most sold at rates equal to previous sales in the past month.
Penned throughout the sale were several drafts of 2017 drop steer calves.
GT&JH Hillier, Corryong, sold 27 Angus steers, 360-414kgs, from $1165-$1335, and GL&DR Macaulay, Huon, 51 Angus steers from $1150-$1290, and both consignments equaled 322-334c/kg lwt.
In a similar vein, KR&LJ Nichol, Allans Flat, sold 43 Angus steers, 9-10 months, from $1185-$1285.
While some producers offered EU accredited steers, none were kept in the system. IA&WM Manning, “Tangaroa”, Bathurst, offered 108 Hereford steers, Injemira blood, which sold from $730 for very light steers, to $1195 for 400 kilogram steers.
Much of the competition came from local and district producers, aided by some, but generally small, feedlot competition. Later in the sale there was some competition for live export steers.
Some of the lighter weight steers sold to the best demand, as there were few opportunities to purchase any of the better bred steers.
G&R Pearce, Bonnie Doon, sold 13 Hereford steers, 290kgs, for $1000.
There were some bargains seen in the sale, but lower prices were due mostly to poor breeding, or weight for age.
DG Plante, Rutherglen, sold 39 Hereford steers, 372-422kgs, from $1010-$1075.
Describing the sale of heifers needs some explanation. Most of the heifers were in good to very good condition, and for some, the weight and fat cover, took away some of the competition. Many of these heifers sold between $910&$1150, or 234-277c/kg lwt.
Younger heifers, and the first of the 2017 drop calves sold to better competition, but even then prices were cheaper.
Yearling heifers of Indara Holdings, Deniliquin, sold from $1000-$1110, PJ&SL Wallis, Gundowring, 31 Angus heifers from $1060-$1150, and B&J Sabljo, Myrtleford, 28 Angus heifers to $1090, were all among the highest price bracket.
Among the yearling heifers penned was 27 Hereford’s offered by WA Pendergast 7 Sons, Benambra. It has been very tough in the high country, and although their condition was quite good, the weights were from 276-391kgs. Selling from $780-$960 was not the best of the day.
Marginally better were the fresh, 2017 drop heifers. “APG”, Alexandra, sold 187 heifers, mostly British breeds, with some European crosses. Prices ranged between $830-$975, mostly in the higher 270-290c/kg range.
GL&DR Macaulay sold 47 fresh Angus heifers, 293-329kgs, from $850-$930, and “Boxwood”, Mansfield, 49 Angus heifers, 224-260kgs, from $735-$850.
An unnamed vendor offered 52 Poll Hereford heifers, Lowana blood, that weighed from 245-306kgs. As there were very few lightweight cattle penned, the 34 smallest heifers sold for $870, or 355c/kg lwt, after some spirited bidding.