Richard Telling normally sells his cattle at the Sale market but sent them to VLE Leongatha last week in the hope of being amongst serious numbers that would attract plenty of equally serious buyers.
"Most big buyers buy in deck loads so you need numbers in the yard to get them interested," Mr Telling said.
"The drought means there are hardly any cattle left in the Sale area to send to market.
"The season's starting to turn around at Yarram and Woodside where we've had a bit of rain now.
"Woodside will still need spring rain to get the fodder situation back but it's still very tough at Sale."
The tactic paid off.
Most big buyers buy in deck loads so you need numbers in the yard to get them interested.
Around 1750 cattle were yarded at the store cattle market, among them 160 mixed sexed 10-month-old Angus calves from Mr Telling's Woodside property.
A pen of R&K Telling steers weighing 317 kilograms made $1180 a head or 372 cents a kilogram and a second 287kg pen was $1160 or 404c/kg.
Some of their 300kg sisters made $1020 or 340c/kg while another pen weighing 270kg was $1000 or 370c/kg.
Landmark Leongatha livestock manager Brian McCormack said feature lines like the Telling calves lifted quality at the sale and smaller steers and cattle sold well.
"The feedlots were snapping up cattle and there were buyers from the Latrobe Valley, too, knowing there were going to be quality cattle on offer," he said.
"Smaller steers were up by about 10 cents to around the $4 mark and heifers were 10 to 15 cents a kilo dearer.
"There weren't as many dairy and dairy-cross cattle there, either."
Mr McCormack expected numbers will be up again at the next VLE Leongatha sale.
"We had a few pull out of this market because it was too wet to get trucks in," he said.
"South Gippsland has had six to seven inches of rain in two weeks.
"That makes it wet at the moment but will set it up for later on and we'll definitely get a spring now.
"Numbers will run out but we will have cattle for up to six weeks."
Other feature lines included heifers from Murdoch Past., Bombala, NSW.
Two of the Murdoch pens sold for $880.
The first weighing an average of 261kg made 337c/kg and the second pen of 241kg heifers were $365c/kg.
The Tellings plan to send another line of their Rosskin, Innesdale and Pinora-blood Angus cattle in November or December.
"I made the decision to sell this lot of 160 to make room for the others because feed is everything," he said.
"We've also bought in hay and been careful about rotating them through the paddocks.
"It means they've presented well considering they're coming out of a drought."