Just the thought of a string of icy, wet days and a forecast of more than 100 millimetres of rain washed away the hopes of both buyers and vendors at VLE Pakenham's most recent store cattle sale.
Elders Pakenham agent Michael Robertson said fears of a weak market became something of a self-fulfilling prophecy.
"A few agents were starting to think it might be a cheaper sale because of the weather forecast, so a lot of cattle were held back," Mr Robertson said.
"Late July to early August is normally our quiet period and the weather forecast only made this market even quieter.
"People who didn't want to have to carry cattle through nasty conditions were scared off.
"In three weeks' time after the water's soaked in and the sun's shining, the market will get dearer again."
With fewer suitable cattle on offer, many of the feedlotters kept their hands in their pockets, unable to source sufficient numbers to fill trucks.
Even so, cattle weighing over 300 kilograms, including those in the 400-450kg range held firm, with plenty of demand from restockers.
"Our sale was well supported by locals," Mr Robertson said.
"Interest from South Gippsland and the Warragul district was strong and 75 per cent of the yarding went locally to farmers."
Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) data showed the better types of trade steers eased 3 cents a kilogram to sell from 299-340c/kg.
Among Elders' featured lines were six 572kg Angus steers from M Javour of Kilmore, which sold for $1700 a head or 297c/kg.
A second M Javour pen of seven 424kg steers made $1490 or 351c/kg.
D'Alberto Farms, Cardinia, sold two 600kg Angus steers for $1700 or 283c/kg and another 10 weighing 491kg for $1620 or 330c/kg.
SEJ sold two pens of Hereford steers aged 20-22 months from Willow Grove Farms.
The first pen of 13, 440kg, steers made $1450 or 331c/kg and the second pen of 12, 405kg steers was $1390 or 343c/kg.
It was more difficult to find buyers for lighter cattle, Mr Robertson said.
"Cattle weighing 280kg or less were considerably cheaper, by around $100 a head," he said.
Heifers also failed to draw good prices.
"Heifers really did struggle, especially the lighter ones," Mr Robertson said.
"They were $100 to $120 cheaper compared to the previous sales and others nearby because there was very little, if any, demand for them."
D'Alberto Farms also sold two pens of Angus heifers via Elders.
The first 10, 435kg, pen made $1385 or 318c/kg while two, 372kg, more made $1050 or 282c/kg.
M Bernardo, Longwarry, sold three 364kg Angus heifers for $1050 or 288c/kg.
Linlithgow Investments, Flinders, sold 19, 385kg Angus heifers for $1320 or 343c/kg through SEJ.
MLA reported a price correction of up to 15c/kg, with heifers selling from 299-332c/kg.
It said bullocks sold from 253-291c/kg and some excellent grain finished dairy bullocks were available.
The price of heavy beef cows ranged from 275-300c/kg.
The best of the dairy cows were priced to 221c/kg.
The middle run of D2 cows sold from 220-269c/kg.
Most, however, were D1 types and this class made from 200-215c/kg.
Bulls with shape making from 276-307c/kg, thanks to support from the regular buying group.