Partly because of the very dry conditions, and equally due to the time of year, Wodonga’s independent agents offered a large yarding of 3508 cattle. This did included 102 cows and calves, most of which were in plain condition.
In fact, many of the cattle penned were in store condition, and for the regular sellers, most were a lot lighter in weight than last year.
Competition for feeder steers and heifers was strong, despite not offering many yearling steers weighing over 320 kilograms live weight.
Away from this competition for feeder cattle, the balance of the buyers were nearly all locals. With everyone selling because of the poor conditions, there were few prepared to buy the younger and lighter weight calves.
Prices were generally firm to cheaper for the few heavier steers and heifers, while all of the lighter cattle sold to weaker competition, and were equal to 20c/kg cheaper.
A small pen of 3 well covered Angus cows with young calves at foot topped this section of the sale making $1420. Schroen Pastoral Co was the vendor.
“Langibella”, Table Top, sold 11 Angus cows with CAF, to 8 weeks, for $1350, but most others sold from $$650-$1120. Some were purchased for slaughter.
Following these were joined females, which sold well in places. G Boone, Redbank, Booralite, sold 41 cows, PTIC to Angus bulls to calve from September 2nd, from $1150-$1380.
Few heavier yearling steers were penned weighing over 400kgs, in fact there was only eight pens, and two of these were Friesian steers.
Strong demand for grain feeding saw these sell from $1250-$1520, or 290-307c/kg for the beef breeds, and the Friesians to $925.
Comments from many of the producers selling their cattle, were “the dry conditions has heavily influenced our decision to sell, and the cattle are a lot lighter than last year”.
However, numerous vendors normally sell at this time of the year, and accepted their prices with a smile.
Mitchell Pastoral, Bethanga, sold 45 Angus steers, 280-371kgs, from $755-$1145 with their top price being the best for weaned steer calves.
RJ&SA Bulle, Ardrossan Angus, Talmalmo Station, sold 225 Angus steer calves from $630-$880. These equaled 270-300c/kg lwt, and this price trend was seen right throughout the sale.
The only major competition from outside the district came from Landmark International who purchased three loads of light weight steers.
Producers could tick as many boxes, EU, Grassfed, Antibiotic free, weaned, and vendor bred, and it made little difference at this sale.
CC&SG Cain, Gerogery, sold 80 Angus steer calves from $550-$740, and Mulgoa Pastoral Co, “Yamacoona”, Holbrook, sold 101 very light Angus steer calves, EU accredited, 10 months, which weighed just 185-225kgs lwt, from $520-$640.
The best price noted for Hereford steers was $955 for 12 head, 339kgs, of J&R Scales.
R&D Wolter, Walwa, sold 8 yearling Charolais steers for $1250, which were purchased for grain feeding.
Competition for yearling heifers came mostly from buyers of feeder cattle. Prices were mostly from $740-$950 with Bimbella Pastoral, Walla Walla, selling 12 Limousin cross heifers for $950. Prices of light weight heifers ranged mostly between 260 and 275c/kg lwt.
Younger and lighter weight heifers were hard to sell. One agent whispered “it was like pulling hen’s teeth”, which saw many sell between $380 and $700.
There was one sale of Hereford heifers that attracted buyers attention. Reid Partnership, Tallangatta, had purchased 60 Hereford heifers early in the year with the intention of joining them. However, the season has not allowed this, and they were sold here at Barnawartha.
They sold within $5 of each other with $785 being the top price, and there would be no profit from the exercise.