Cattle in demand as conditions differ

Cattle in demand as seasonal conditions differ

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MEMORIES: Bernadette and Bernie (absent) O'Callaghan, Landsborough, sold a pen of 16 steers, 539kg, for $1730 or 320c/kg.

MEMORIES: Bernadette and Bernie (absent) O'Callaghan, Landsborough, sold a pen of 16 steers, 539kg, for $1730 or 320c/kg.

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Agents are reporting different seasonal conditions across Victoria.

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Strong demand for well-bred cattle continued last Friday when a line of Streatham steers fetched more than 400 cents a kilogram at Ballarat.

The Cherry Mount weaner steers by Mick and Dawn Ernest topped the market, including a lot of 36 steers, 282kg, which sold for $1280 or 453c/kg.

Quality cattle fetched slightly higher prices as a large yarding of 4500 cattle was presented for sale, including heifers which made between 290-310c/kg and the steer weaners which made 320-340c/kg.

Despite high prices, Elders Ballarat livestock manager Graeme Nicholson - who sold the top-priced pens - said prices paid for the Cherry Mount cattle were likely a "one off" due to their noted status and incredible condition.

"In general, some of the steers were not substantially dearer but heifers were at least $100 dearer," he said.

Prices rose on secondary cattle at Pakenham a day earlier, a trend which continued on from the October store sale, while heavier cattle rose by more than $100 a head, agents said.

Meanwhile, in South Gippsland, agents are expecting to yard up to 2500 head of cattle today after parts of the region have experienced more than 100 millimetres of rain since the start of November.

"We can't complain, our season's absolutely bloody brilliant ... the grass has just jumped away," SEJ Livestock auctioneer James Kyle said.

"If anything we need a week of sunshine which we're expected to get because people are ready to cut their silage and people are looking to capitalise on a rising market hence why our store job, especially at Koonwarra, has been so strong and getting dearer."

However, further east near Bairnsdale, it's a different story as low rainfall and high winds have dried out soil moisture.

Agents will yard about 1500 cattle for the East Gippsland store sale on Friday.

"Our last sale a fortnight ago showed a softer trend and I'd expect that to be the same tomorrow," Landmark East Gippsland livestock manager Brad Obst said.

"The season here has been terrible, we've had no rain but despite that we've seen some very good lines of well-bred cattle in the previous sales which Bairnsdale has become renowned for."

In the north, FP Nevins & Co livestock manager Hamish Hooppell, Rochester, said prices firmed at this month's Echuca store sale despite a weaker yarding.

"We had a very good winter in terms of rains at the right times but the spring has cut that out and slowed everything down so there's a lot of crops about where people have been putting that cattle back out onto that," Mr Hooppell said.

At Yea, agents are preparing for the annual November weaner sale with 1800 cattle to be yarded on tomorrow.

"Our season has been terrific, we have standing feed around but the next few days will take the greenness out of that," Elders Yea livestock agent Jamie Quinlan said.

"The cattle for Friday's sale will present the same, if not heavier than last year, and they will be in good order."

Elders Mortlake livestock manager Bruce Redpath said the season in the south-west was one of the region's best seasons in a decade.

"The Western District from Geelong through to Portland and Hamilton and the south-east of South Australia is as good as anywhere ... it's outstanding," he said.

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