Calves threatened by fierce bushfires in January will headline the opening on the Mountain Calf Sale series at Hinnomunjie on Tuesday.
About 1200 cattle will feature in the first of four calf sales across two days as the region continues its recovery in the wake of the East Gippsland fires.
Sharp Fullgrabe director Graeme Fullgrabe said the immediate Benambra/Hinnomunjie was not badly affected by fire, but clients further afield who were "burnt out" underpinned the sale.
"The actual country around Benambra did not get burnt but if you go out to a place on the way to Beloka called The Mount, Jock Sievers a big client of ours is going to yard 160 Charolais-cross cavles and his place got severely burnt in the fires," Mr Fullgrabe said.
"He's bought them into the home place and weaned them all and they're great cattle so he got burnt out. The same happened to vendor in Mark Troake who got burnt as did a number of other people who will be selling calves at this sale."
The smaller yarding of calves on offer is not expected to detract from the interest of the sale with 800 steers and 400 heifers set to be sold.
"I don't think I've had so many phone calls expressing interest for a calf sale in my 40 years in doing calf sales at Hinnomunjie," he said.
"We have the same blokes who patronise our sale every year who religiously come but we've also had interest out of the north - those fellas who can handle volumes of cattle because of the rain."
Feature lines include 300 Hereford mixed sex calves by Louis and Sharon Pendergast, Benambra, who have sold at the sale for 40 years.
"Lewis is one who's bitten the bullet and decided to yard a fair number because it hardly pays him to hold those small calves and try and value add them and send them to Bairnsdale in the spring," Mr Fullgrabe said.
"We'll also have another beautiful yarding of cattle from Ronald Johnston from Black Camp at Omeo, they're all Hereford calves and true to the breed, and Brian Dyer who's at Benambra has a great run of Hereford calves too."
Mr Fullgrabe said calves would weigh less than last year but indicated the price for smaller cattle would be "tempting" for buyers.
"There's no lack in quality in these smaller cattle but they're probably seven-eight months old rather than 10-12 months old but for the people who have the broadacres up north and western Victoria and other parts of Australia, these cattle are attractive to them," he said.
"These are genuine calves off the mountains and they're a July-August drop calf so those calves are going to be very similar to last year and you'll be able to buy a calf between 220-260 kilos.
"By Melbourne Cup time, these smaller cattle will weigh 350-400kg so they're automatically worth $1200 so if people can get them for $800-$900, they'll get a drink out of them in six months."