Simon Booth and family from Humewood at Booligal, NSW, dispersed what remained of their Hereford cow herd at the Wodonga store sale.
The Wirruna-blood first to fourth calvers, not joined, sold to a top of $1040 for nine by nine third calvers, and down to $820 for the two pens of youngest cows and calves.
Mr Booth said the prices were about $200 below what he had hoped for, especially the young here, but having received just two inches of their 12 inch rainfall this year, they were turning away from cattle and concentrating on their Merino sheep flock.
“We had 300 cattle and that’s the last of them, except for a small mob of heifers, the returns just haven’t been worth it to keep running the cattle – if the summer does what we think it is going to there won’t be any cattle let in our region,” he said.
“But the stock and wool sales have been fantastic for the sheep, we’ve been feeding them grain since last October, but it has paid off with the returns.”
The Booths have been breeding Hereford cattle at Humewood since the 1940s, but Mr Booth said they had to do what was right for the business – and while he was disappointed with the prices in the moment, he would be happy in a week’s time with the extra pressure taken off the property.
“There is just too much of a future in sheep – anyone in our area who is not feeding will have no production – lamb marking averages for the area are down around 40 to 50 per cent (we achieved 90 per cent but fed a lot of grain) - which means this time next year there will be no surplus sheep,” he said.