An influx of cattle from NSW has been hitting southern saleyards lately as vendors enduring dry conditions search for buyers with grass.
About 400-head from Bombala and Bega in south-eastern NSW was consigned to Leongatha last week to sell at the South Gippsland saleyard's fortnightly store cattle sale.
And Brian McCormack, Landmark, said while cattle had been coming from NSW for the last 12 months, there was certainly an increase last week.
Mr McCormack credited that to the time of year, saying now was when southern buyers started looking seriously at sourcing cattle.
"Sometimes [NSW producers] will send cattle to Wagga [Wagga, NSW] or Wodonga, but it's still fairly wet down in South Gippsland, so if I was up north, I'd be sending them down this way too," he said.
"You've just got to make a call, you've got to work out where the competition is going to come from."
And it was a similar story at Bairnsdale's store cattle sale on Friday, where northern cattle were also sold in bulk.
Colin Jones, Bill Wyndham & Co, said vendors were making the logical decision to send their cattle to areas were feed was available.
And while East Gippsland was still struggling seasonally, some locals still took part in the market.
But the sales were mostly supported by restockers from South Gippsland.
"South Gippsland has been very strong, they're wet and they're going to have a season," he said.
David and Jenny Fraser, Fraser Brothers, Cooma, NSW, brought down a truck load of cattle to Bairnsdale last Friday.
The Frasers normally sell their cattle at Wagga Wagga, NSW, but to "get closer to a better season", decided to sell their yearlings for the first time this far south.
"We were leaning towards selling at Wodonga, but they had a very big store sale, so we thought because it's about the same distance to Bairnsdale as Wagga, we'd sell there," Mr Fraser said.
And did it pay off?
The 28 yearling steers and heifers averaged $682 a head.
"We didn't lose, that's for sure," he said.
"Wagga is having a borderline [season], they need the rain to keep them going, and Bairnsdale needs a bit of rain too but they're closer to [areas having a better season]."
Mr Fraser said he wouldn't be opposed selling down south again, but at the moment, would stay put and hope for more rain.
"We had eight millimetres of rain [on Monday night], every bit helps," he said.
Mr Jones said the influx of NSW cattle didn't impact the market too much.
"It's not affecting the prices, the cattle are still selling according to their condition and type," he said.
"After most [NSW producers] have sold their cattle, and you ask them how it went, their reply is usually that they're glad they don't have to feed them anymore."
He expected more cattle to come from NSW until they got a general rain, and then follow-up.
Carlo Taranto, Elders, said he anticipated more cattle to be sent from NSW's southern Riverina to the Yea store sale as Gippsland was "too wet".
Mr Taranto was with Kerry and Malcolm Bishop, Lojosa Springs, Deniliquin, NSW, who consigned 95 steers and 59 heifers to Yea last week.
Mrs Bishop said they decided to send their cattle 250 kilometres south because "the market is good here".
"We are still very much in drought," she said.
"We have had some opportunistic rain and the pasture is quite good at the moment, but it could turn at any time."
Mr McCormack said southern producers needed to be mindful of the change in conditions cattle from NSW would be dealing with when sold down south.
"If you've got cattle coming off next to nothing, you don't want to push them onto lush, green grass," he said.
"Put out some hay to [get them adjusted]."