Yandra Angus stand out in a sea of black cattle

Yandra Angus stand out in a sea of black cattle

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BLACK MAGIC: Graham and Helen Cowin with Rowan Dean (right), who bought a pen of the couple's Yandra cows with calves at foot during Euroa's EOFY store cattle sale.

BLACK MAGIC: Graham and Helen Cowin with Rowan Dean (right), who bought a pen of the couple's Yandra cows with calves at foot during Euroa's EOFY store cattle sale.

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The owners of Yandra Angus do things a little differently to give their cattle an advantage at market.

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A sea of black cattle swells almost every market across the county but one couple is determined to make its pens stand out.

Graham and Helen Cowin of Gooram are building a reputation for their Yandra Angus cattle.

"Everyone says they're incredibly quiet and grow out well," Ms Cowin remarks as a steer sniffs her hand.

"We take them to market so the community can see the type of cattle we breed good and the types of prices they bring."

A laminated sheet stuck to Yandra Angus pens at Euroa's store cattle sale informs potential buyers of vaccinations, drenching, weaning, Boonaroo and Merridale breeding and even the Cowins' own details.

The card is just the beginning.

Both the cattle and their owners are Yandra Angus ambassadors.

Wearing "Yandra" jackets themselves, the couple comes equipped with Yandra pens to give away.

The cattle carry ear tags emblazoned with "Yandra" and the weaners' glossy coats were even thoroughly brushed clean before the sale.

Buyers seemed duly impressed, with the first pen of 230-kilogram steers selling for $875 a head and the second pen of 210kg steers making $790.

As was the trend right across the Euroa market last week, the cows were softer.

READ MORE: Euroa's EOFY store cattle sale smiles on buyers and vendors

A pen of 10 Yandra cows with six to 12-week-old calves at foot sold for $1350.

"The fairly mature fifth calvers didn't sell all that well but we had to cut our numbers because of the cost of feed," Mr Cowin said.

"We'd rather have fewer numbers and better quality."

The couple are carrying about 25 per cent fewer cattle this year to help manage the season.

"We've never overstocked our property, we keep a good rotation all the time," Ms Cowin added.

"Overstocking is not fair on the animals or the paddocks."

The Cowins expected Gooram's weather to cool soon, slowing pasture growth and aside from a small area of forage oats, there was little home-grown feed in reserve.

"The last six months have been very tough and it's only changed in the last three weeks," Ms Cowin said.

"It was close to being as barren as this," she said, pointing to the dusty saleyard floor, "and its just fuzz, although it's green fuzz, on the ground."

The opportunity to purchase quality cattle at a reasonable price was not lost on Ron Dean of Moglonemby, who scooped up a pen of the Yandra cows and calves.

"They've got a good, big frame," he said, shaking hands with the Cowins.

Mr Dean had destocked to just three head on his 162-hectare property and was ready to rebuild.

"We're starting to get some feed again now," he said.

"If everything was going nicely, we would be running 70 to 80 cows with calves.

"I feel sorry for the vendors, that they went this cheap.

"I was looking at not getting any of these because I thought they'd make at least $1700."

Mr Dean said he was pleased to be able to purchase the small lot of 10 cows and calves.

"The best thing about buying small lots is that you can't make really big mistakes," Mr Dean said drily.

"Most people overstock but ever since the 2006 drought, I rotate pastures and can count down how many days of feed I've got.

"Knowing when I'm going to run out of feed it my number one tool.

"I've been caught in earlier droughts

"I'll sit on these numbers for a few months and see what happens.

"Our rainfall is supposed to be around 20 inches but it's been about a third of normal since Christmas and, unlike last season, there's no subsoil moisture."

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