Feedlot activity underpins Pakenham

Feedlotters boost the Pakenham sale, which saw a small buying gallery


TOP DOLLAR: Yarra Valley beef producer Meridie Jackson was among a handful of vendors who received more than 300c/kg for their cattle. Here she's with Harriet Tyrer, Mary Tyrer, Matilda Jackson Smith and Zara Jackson Smith. ,.

TOP DOLLAR: Yarra Valley beef producer Meridie Jackson was among a handful of vendors who received more than 300c/kg for their cattle. Here she's with Harriet Tyrer, Mary Tyrer, Matilda Jackson Smith and Zara Jackson Smith. ,.

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Tightening conditions, Easter, see cattle prices dip at Pakenham

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Yarding: 2350 steers and heifers

68 x 70 cows and calves

Producers and agents at the Pakenham store sale went into Easter looking for the elusive break in the weather, as prices again continued to slide.

Alex Scott and Staff agent David Setches said the yarding of about 2350 head was similar to that of a fortnight ago, but prices had eased.

"It was a bit tougher going, certainly on the grain steers - they were five to 10 cents cheaper, and your grain heifers were down 10-15cents/kilogram," Mr Setches said.

"Your lighter cattle probably took the biggest hit, anything under the feedlot specifications were $2.40-$2.70/kg.for the lighter steers, between 220-250kilograms."

He said lighter weight heifers saw sales of $2.10-$2.15/kg..

"The season has cut out, considerably down here; it's as bad as many of the old timers have seen it down here.

"We are just like everyone else, praying for a break."

He said producers who supplied cattle ranging in weight from 400-500kg would have "seen the best of it."

"I could count on one hand sales which topped $3/kg."

One of those was for Yarra Valley beef producer Meridie Jackson, Glenburn, 16 Lawson's blood Angus steers.

The pen, averaging 320kg, sold for $990 a head, or 309c/kg.

Another sale topper was Abbots Point, Avenel, which offered 30 Te Mania-Lawsons blood Angus steers, averaging 347kg, and received $1070, or 308c/kg.

A pen of 14 of their heifers, averaging 392kg, made $880, or 224c/kg.

Elders Jamie Quinlan agreed heavier cattle were a fraction cheaper.

"The feedlots were still very active," Mr Quinlan said.

'There were still a lot of $2.70-$2.80/kg there, touching three dollars for some really good steers of 400kg and better, but the lighter cattle were a couple of hundred dollars cheaper," Mr Quinlan said.

"Without the feedlot competition on the heavier cattle, it would have been a bit of a disaster."

He said lines with good breeding and quality sold for between $2.50-$2.60 for the lighter end of the cattle.

"Once the quality tailed off there, you were down to a $1.60-$1.80 for some steers, and maybe a bit cheaper for some heifers," he said.

Shoreham Farming, Shoreham, sold 12, 16-18-month-old Hereford heifers, averaging 430kilograms, for $990, or 230c/kg.

Bahm Farmings Bruce McIntosh, Horsham, brought down a draft of more than 230 steers and heifers, to Pakenham.

His first pen of 14, 12-14-month-old Angus steers, averaging 363kg, sold for $920, or 253c/kg but he also sold to $1250, for a pen of 23 steers, averaging 428kg, or 292c/kg.

A second pen of 14 steers, averaging 400kg, made $1150, or 287c/kg.

His pen of 11 heifers, averaging 346kg, made $780, or 225c/kg.

K&H Smith, Nilma North, sold 18 Angus steers, averaging 333kg, for $870, or 261c/kg, while a second pen of 19, averaging 274kg, went for $610, or 222c/kg.

J&LN Tribuzi, The Gurdies, sold 16 Angus steers, averaging 265kg, for $570, or 215c/kg.

Lambourn Pastoral, Flynn's Creek, sold nine Angus steers, averaging 346kg, at $910, or 263c/kg.

Euro Vale Pastoral, Sheeds Creek, sold 10 Angus steers, averaging 422kg, for $1140, or 270c/kg,

Lyntol Holdings pen of 16 Angus steers, averaging 495kg, sold for $1450, or 292c/kg, while a second pen of 12, averaging 490kg, made $1410, or 287c/kg.

Landmark's Brian McCormack said the sale was highly reliant on feedlot competition.

"Once you got off that, it was nearly non-existent as you can see by the crowd, that's not here," Mr McCormack said.

"Maybe that's because of the dry, or because of Easter, or a bit of both," Mr McCormack said.

It was also a poorer quality yarding than the previous fortnight.

"We need rain, we want more rain, and some rain - that's what we are relying on."

"A lot of the better cattle were five or ten cents a kg cheaper; once you got onto the plainer cattle, they would have been $100-150 cheaper - as you got plainer, it got worse."

He said works buyers were absent, as they didn't want to hold onto cattle over the Easter-Anzac Day holidays.

"It would be the following week before they get to kill them."

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