A strong crowd of feedlotter and backgrounders, as well as the odd grass finisher, sent prices higher at the Western Victorian Livestock Exchange at Mortlake on Thursday.
Buyers were greeted with an excellent selection of grown cattle as well as good drafts of younger stock in a yarding of 3160 head.
Starting on an excellent run of grown Angus steers, the first pen went for 332 cents a kilogram, setting the tone for cattle that had weight and were well bred.
Concerns over cattle numbers had buyers on edge and keen to fill orders with winter now set in and projected sale numbers unknown.
Of the first 20 pens, 18 sold for more than 310c/kg.
Main competition in the heavier cattle was from Creek Livestock, Teys, Hopkins River, J&F Brooklyn, and Elders at Deniliquin, NSW, and Korumburra.
WVLX Stock Agents president Glenn Judd said grown steers were 10-20c/kg higher than the previous month.
Mr Judd said also up on last month were the weighed weaner steers and open auction steers that sold to $900, or $50 dearer.
The Angus grown heifers topped at 301c/kg, with the majority making 280-300c/kg.
Mr Judd said the top weaner heifers were more than 30c/kg up on the last market, making 305c/kg.
Open auction heifers were $100 dearer than last month making $500-700.
Top of the older steers was one of two pens sold by Colin and Ann-Maree Surkitt, Naringal East, that sold to 334c/kg for a pen of 16, 17-18 months Angus, 427kg.
The heavier brothers of these, 485kg, sold for 332c/kg for 11.
Three lines made 332c/kg, starting with pen one, a line of 39 Angus steers sold by Barrawinnie, 20-21-months-old, 508kg, which were knocked down for 332c/kg to Elders Korumburra.
The other two lines were Tinpot Angus steers, with 18, 14-15-months-old, 435kg, and the third was Banquet Angus, which comprised 15 steers, 425kg.
Banquet received 330c/kg for a pen of 10 steers weighing 365kg.
Tinpot sold a further 17 steers, 376kg, for 331c/kg.
The Murnane Family Trust offered 18 Angus steers, 16-18 months, 406kg, that made 330c/kg.
Also at the same money were 22 steers sold by Irrewillipe Beef, 358kg, and a line of eight Angus steers offered by Neyanon Downs, 406kg.
Of the Hereford steers, Nield Contracting offered a draft with the tops of 21 weighing 456kg making 324c/kg, and the seconds weighing 406kg making 320c/kg.
Rifle Ridge, Port Campbell, sold 11 Hereford steers, 428kg, that made 306c/kg, while Ryan Pastoral Co sold 60 Hereford steers that weighed from 345-376kg and averaged 295c/kg.
South Boorook was also a volume vendor offering 70 Hereford and Black Baldy steers that sold from 270-298c/kg on steers weighing from 282-337kg.
Kangaroobie, Princetown, sold a large draft of Euro-cross steers weighing between 263-370kg and sold between 310-317c/kg.
Of the open auction steers, the top was $900 for 37 Angus by Ardonachie.
In the grown heifer offering the best was 307c/kg for eight, 485kg, sold by the Talasea Family Trust.
Selling for 301c/kg was 14 Angus, weighing 427kg, by Gilmour Quirk Pastoral, while Bernleigh sold 23 Angus heifers, 16-18 months, 439kg, for 299c/kg.
Maverick Simmentals achieved 301c/kg or $935 for 15 Simmental heifers.
The feature pen of the grown heifers was a draft of 41 sold by Karingal, 370kg, that sold for 285c/kg.
Lines of note in the Herefords was a pen of 17 sold by Rifle Ridge Beef, Port Campbell, 410kg, that sold for 291c/kg.
Gilmour Quirk Pastoral forwarded a draft of Angus cows with the tops making $1480.
Pardoo Cattle Company had a large consignment of Angus cows that generally sold from $1150-$1500.
Most cows went to processors.
The sale featured the Let's Talk team, which was the beneficiary of a silent auction.
The program aimed to break the stigma around mental health, and all money raised went towards providing mental health workshops in local schools.