What a difference widespread northern rain can make in the store cattle pens.
Ballarat associated agents presided over a penning of 926 cattle at their feature female sale and demand drove prices higher.
After a tough market in 2019, prices bounced back on the strength of local demand as well as the north east, Gippsland, Hamilton, Geelong. Support was also forthcoming from south east of SA.
While no cattle went to the north of NSW or into Queensland, the confidence brought on by good falls of rain already recorded and forecasts for more to come, was certainly felt.
The improving prime market also gave buyers confidence with cow prices rising and change over cost to younger cattle looking satisfactory.
Landmark livestock manager, Xavier Shanahan, Ballarat, said the sale benefited from the rains received in northern NSW and Queensland.
Three weeks earlier the outlook was for prices for many of the heifers to be $300 lower.
He said it was largely rain driven.
"It's a good day. We were lucky," he said.
"They were well presented and done well with many repeat buyers."
Mr Shanahan said there were cattle starting to head north from other centres recently.
"It seems like it's two years since cattle went north," he said.
The strength of the sale was evident fro the start as the first 22 pens of heifers didn't dip below $2000 a head.
Top of the joined heifers was the lead pen of Sid Maher, Golden Grove, Newlyn. This pen of 44 Carngham Station-blood, pregnancy-tested-in-calf to Langi Kal Kal bulls, due to calve as 2.5 year-olds starting on March 10 sold for $2700 to Landmark Ballarat account Pemat. The second line of 24 sold for $2550 to Landmark Ballarat account J Davey.
Another annual feature draft was that of the Stewart family, Wimmera Downs, Stawell. After topping at $2180 in 2019, the draft this year averaged $2512 and sold to a top of $2600. The tops was a line of 22 that went to an HF Richardson, Geelong, account. A line of 25 sold for $2450 to Landmark Ballarat account Ballark.
The Wimmera Downs heifers, bought through the Mortlake saleyards, were Toora West and Banquet-blood heifers, PTIC to Banquet bulls.
Langi Kal Kal forwarded a reduced yarding of 16 Angus Performance Register, spring-drop first-calf heifers, that sold for $2340 - up from $1810 in 2019.
A pen of 21 heifers account Lake Goldsmith, sold for $2450. The pen comprised 2.5 year-old Raff-blood heifers, PTIC to Merridale bulls.
Blackhill Farming consigned a draft of Angus heifers, 2018-drop, Barwidgee blood,, PTIC to selected Lawson and Barwidgee bulls, with 30 selling in two pens for $2420. A second pen of 20 sold for $2340
The Minobie Family Trust forwarded a line of nine Angus heifers, 2.5 years, Ballanee blood, PTIC to Angus, that sold for $2350. A second draft of 10 sold for $2000.
In the joined cows section, for the first time Carngham Station offered a pen of 17 Angus, 2016-drop females, Carngham Station-bred and PTIC to Landfall sires, that sold for $2440.
A pen of 16 Angus cows, second calvers, Franc-blood and PTIC to calve March on, sold account Pretty Tower, Stoneleigh, went for $2300.
Everist Farms offered a draft of Angus cows, 3rd and 4th calvers, Te Mania-blood and PTIC to the same, that sold for $2200. A second pen of five sold for $2000.
Heywood Pastoral conducted a complete dispersal of Angus, black baldy and Poll Hereford cows. Tops of the black baldy females was a pen of seven that sold for $2000. These were PTIC to Murdeduke bulls. A further 13 Angus, same vendor, sold for $1975.
The Poll Hereford portion of the Heywood Pastoral cattle comprised a pen of 19, Allendale and Days White Face blood, third calvers, PTIC to Murdeduke bulls. They sold for $1800.
The Point, Birregurra, sold surplus, mixed age females, Murdeduke and Banquet blood, to $1800. They also sold 13 at $1540 and 11 at $1450.
Tops of the cows and calves was a draft from Weatherly Angus, Mortlake. They consigned three pens comprising four first calvers, nine second calvers and six third calvers. All sold for $2700.
A late entry from Leo Duggan, Gisborne, whose property has been sold, saw a pen of 13, 3-4 year old Anvil-blood cows sell for $2500. A line of 14 cows, 4-5 years-old made $2000.
Sunnydale sold a line of 18 Poll Hereford cows with 17 calves at foot, third and fourth calvers, for $2050. These had Poll Hereford calves at foot and were redepastured to Angus bulls.
Other cow and calf units included a pen of 10 with 11 calves at foot, mixed age, that made $1760, sold account Macprime Holdings.
Three pens of Herefords sold account Andreto with calves at foot sold to the same buyer for $1540 for 39 in total.