The country around Euroa has turned from gold to green in the last few weeks with good rain during May.
Even so, the pastures are exceptionally short and almost all the producers who came to sell cattle or just take a look at the town's special end of financial year store cattle sale are out of feed.
It showed in the more than 2200 cattle on offer, farmer Andrew Collins of Violet Town said.
"There are lots of cattle here that wouldn't be if you had a hope of getting them through winter," Mr Collins said.
"The rain came too late - it needed to be earlier to get feed away."
Speaking before the sale, Landmark agent, Russell Mawson said he was impressed by the quality of the cattle given the drought but that some classes were affected more than others.
"We don't have a lot of export weight here today, the export lines ranging 350 to 380 right through to 500kg," he said.
"There's only probably 4 or 5 pens."
Mr Mawson said there were a lot of calves weighing between 260 to 330kg.
"A lot of calves this year because of the seasonal conditions are weighing light, so you'll see quite a number of calves today around 180 to 240kg as well, so there are opportunities for a lot of people in different ranges," he said.
"They've got the frame but nothing underneath.
"So it's a great opportunity if you're putting something away, a lot of them you've got to fill up.
"They've already got the stretch about them.
"They're, on a visual appraisal, around about 30 to 40kg under what we would normally assume."
Seasonal conditions also affected the way cattle sold, as Landmark Euroa agent Les Myors explained.
"When it's dry and there's no feed, the first thing to go down is cows and calves," Mr Myors said.
The shortage of buyers in that category presented an opportunity for Mr Myors' clients, who bought the market-topping pen of seven cows with four-month-old calves at foot from Strath Hill of Strathbogie for $2225 a head.
Mr Myors also secured the pen immediately prior of 10 Strath Hill cows with calves at foot for $1825.
"The price was above our expectations but young cows and calves like this haven't come up for sale in a while, so it was hard to know how much they would sell for," he said.
"I know we will do it tough for the next seven weeks or so but, if we get rain, they could be worth $2800 to $3000 in spring because of the amount of females that have gone out of the system.
"People are down to core breeding stock - they've already got rid of culls and empties.
"Lots of heifers and cows went to feedlots, so they won't be breeding.
"China and Russia are buying a lot, which stops breeding here, too.
"The sheep job's pretty good and wool's alright, so some people are thinking of running sheep and that reduces numbers further."
Steers, on the other hand, attracted large crowds, with the walkways packed so tight that bidders had to fight their way to the rails.
Feedlotters and commissioned agents from as far away as Warragul and New South Wales were active.
While Angus steers in a lighter condition made 258 cents a kilogram, better-conditioned steers rose above 320c/kg.
A pen of 16 Angus weaners averaging 320kg offered by Glendowner Steers sold for 359c/kg or $1150.
Young Yandra of Gooram steers weighing 210-230kg made 376-380c/kg.
Five nine-month-old poll Hereford steers averaging 332kg presented by Tangles Pastoral of Gooram brought 262c/kg or $870.
Among the vendors was Elsa Jackson of Viewbank Farm, Wandong, who was happy with her sale of four unweighed Angus steers for $655.
"I am quite pleased with the price - I wasn't expecting that much," Ms Jackson said.
"I thought ours looked terrible but the whole yarding is poor.
"The six to seven-month-olds we sold today are not very well grown because we could only find pretty poor quality hay.
"We cut 30 bales of our own but have used 160 bales of hay and don't normally have to buy any."
Ms Jackson usually stays out of the fodder market by sowing turnips that the cattle strip-graze a few metres at a time.
"They love it," she said. "It's our family secret."
As it stands, however, Ms Jackson faces purchasing more fodder this season.
"We're calving now and we'll probably buy another semi-load of silage to feed the breeders," she said.