Strong prices for vendor-bred cattle continued in Gippsland on Thursday during the annual Heyfield spring store cattle sales where about 1300 head were yarded between the two markets.
South and west Gippsland agents representing clients bought a bulk of the yarding on offer while a handful of feedlot operators were active during the sales at Heyfield and Seaton, respectively.
The first sale conducted by Nutrien East Gippsland featured good lines of mostly black cattle with several well-presented pens of Hereford and Euro cattle.
Nutrien EGL manager Brad Obst credited vendors for sticking to their breeding plans.
"It's good to see a lot of cattle today that went back into the paddock," Mr Obst said.
"It wasn't feedlot-dominated, it was grass-dominated and it was pleasing to see after the tough few years breeders have had in Gippsland with the drought and fires."
The sale started with three pens of G and J Stuckey Leawood blood steers which all sold to a South Gippsland agent, topping at $2165 for a pen of 17, 531 kilograms, which made 407 cents a kilogram.
The second pen of 16 steers, 510kg, made $2160 or 423c/kg.
W Missen sold the dearest pen of the sale with a pen of 11 steers, 601kg, for $2189 or 362c/kg.
Meanwhile, Hookey Pastoral sold the dearest pen of steers and heifers on a cents per kilogram basis.
The company's pen of 17 steers, 321kg, made $1580 or 492c/kg, while its pen of 19 heifers, 311kg, made $1490 or 479c/kg.
Mr Obst said buyers chased particular bloodlines because of their strong breeding reputation.
"It's a result of an improving season because everyone throughout these breeding areas is down on their numbers so a few less cattle resulting in heavier weights through the calves," he said.
The second sale up the road at Seaton was the best August feature sale stockman Graeme McGillivray says he has seen at the complex since the annual fixture started in the 1980s.
The sale featured a similar yarding to the first market and was officiated by the Delaney Property & Livestock team.
Features of the unweighed sale included a pen of 23 Pinora Angus blood steers by J and R Mowat who sold the dearest pen $2060.
The dearest pen of heifers by Langley Farms sold for $1700 which also sold 10 cows with calves at foot for $2475.
Mr McGillivray, an agent for Delaney Property & Livestock, said cattle presented in forward condition.
"It gave buyers an opportunity to take cattle onto a good season which seems to be apparent throughout Gippsland," Mr McGillivray said.
"We had more cattle with weight and the demand from restockers was much stronger.
"It's the best sale dollars-per-head-wise that we've every seen in our lives and I'm old enough to remember when we were shooting them."
Prices for cattle with weights were sold at Heyfield, while cattle without weights were auctioned at Seaton.
Pinora Angus sold 12 steers, 435kg, for $1930 or 443c/kg and a second pen of nine, 370kg, for $1620 or 437c/kg.
AL, JP and RG Simpson sold 18 steers, 388kg, for $1770 or 456c/kg.
G and J Edebohls sold 12 steers, 408kg, for $1800 or 441c/kg.
DP Allman sold five steers, 372kg, for $1610 or 452c/kg.
D Rhodes sold seven steers, 369kg, for $1610 or 436c/kg.
L McSweeney sold seven steers, 375kg, for $1620 or 432c/kg.
A and E King sold six steers, 321kg, for $1440 or 448c/kg.
MJ Coleman sold five steers, 288kg, for $1330 or 461c/kg.
D Hutchinson sold four Black Baldy steers, 373kg, for $1640 or 439c/kg.
IJ Crooke sold 23 steers for $1660 and 16 for $1720.
TC Howson sold 19 steers for $1710.
GC and JF Kay sold four steers for $2010.
A and J Gerrand sold 10 steers for $1680 and 22 for $1700.
Malandra Pastoral sold 20 steers for $1700.
Thelma Coster sold 10 steers for $1590 and 24 for $1570.
W, I, W and S Cumming sold 12 Hereford steers for $1830 and 11 for $1750.
St Katherines sold 15 steers for $1810 and 19 for $1430.
JR and CA Gell sold eight steers for $1560.
Chesterfield Pty Ltd sold 24 heifers, 381kg, for $1565 or 410c/kg.
D Rhodes sold 14 heifers, 304kg, for $1290 or 424c/kg.
G and J Collins sold five heifers, 335kg, for $140 or 400c/kg.
MJ Coleman sold six heifers, 296kg, for $1110 or 375c/kg and another two, 227kg, for $970 or 427c/kg.
JR and CA Gell sold nine heifers for $1370.
A and J Gerrand sold 19 heifers for $1350.
Guy and Noble sold 19 heifers for $1270.
M and A Stothers sold 11 preg-tested in-calf second and third-calving heifers to an Angus bull to calve in September for $2000.