South Gippsland bullock fatteners dominated Thursday's store market at Sale in a line-up featuring the top drafts of breeders' cattle from across central Gippsland.
About 1100 good quality cattle were offered at the Gippsland Regional Livestock Exchange where steers sold above 500 cents a kilogram and heifers past 430c/kg.
It was the first store market at Sale since July due to the abundance of feed available in the district, which allowed farmers to hold onto stock during the cooler months.
Alex Scott & Staff Sale director Aaron Ralph said a majority of the yarding was destined for South Gippsland.
"A majority were grass fatteners, the bullock fatteners bought all our steers, and we had a good selection of heifers stay local along with some heifers," Mr Ralph said.
"A lot of annual drafts were in this market and season-wise we haven't had a better spring for close to 10 to 12 years so the cattle presented very well."
The sale started with a pen of 15 Hereford steers by DC & PD Mynard, 530 kilograms, which made $2190 or 413 cents a kilogram.
"The Mynards were expecting $1800 for that pen so that's how much the sale exceeded vendors' expectations," Mr Ralph said.
Two feedlotters were operating during the sale but failed to secure the volumes of cattle they had done in recent sales, agents said.
Unlike recent Gippsland store markets, there was a very limited offering of calves under 300 kilograms.
Among the dearest pens on a cents per kilo basis were two pens of Hereford steers offered by MM and PJ Shelley including 20, 267kg, which made $1390 or 520c/kg, and another nine, 219kg, for $1160 or 532c/kg.
Delaney Livestock and Property director Anthony Delaney said Sale would attract well-bred drafts of weaner cattle in the coming months.
"The sale was up there with the likes of Bairnsdale, Pakenham and Leongatha and we had very equal results due to the excellent quality yarding," he said.
"The limited yarding of light cattle reflects on the season that we've had up here in the central Gippsland region so to finish your calves and get them up between 400 and 500 kilos is a great result."
A feature line of the sale included 88 Angus calves steers and 60 heifers offered by GG and EJ Bates, Maida-Vale.
The steers ranged from 409-491kg and sold from $1810-$2000 or 407-442c/kg, including the dearest pen of 20 steers, 491kg, which made $2000 or 407c/kg.
"It was a very even line of calves and those that have had them before return from across Gippsland each year because they do turn out into magnificent bullocks," Mr Delaney said.
"People are selling bullocks for $2600 to $2800 at Leongatha so that's why a lot of the competition is from South Gippsland."
The three pens of steers, all bought by a South Gippsland client on behalf of a breeder at Korumburra, ranged from 364-407kg and made from $1560-$1690, including a pen of 20, 407kg, which made $1690.
Another draft of 150 Bates' calves will be sold at the next Sale store market.
Nutrien Greenwood manager Ben Greenwood said the yarding featured well-bred cattle with plenty of weight.
"With the good season, our cattle are much heavier than they have been in previous years," he said.
"People have been understocked because we've been decimated so badly due to the drought so people are down on their normal stocking rates and what cattle they do have are in much better condition."
RG Mattews sold one Charolais bullock, 680kg, for $2220 or 326c/kg.
Peter Rouse, Gormandale, sold six steers, 478kg, for $1950 or 407c/kg.
B & A Howard sold 12 steers, 420kg, for $1710 or 407c/kg.
G & L Pilbeam sold four steers, 403kg, for $1700 or 421c/kg.
BC & PM Fleming sold eight steers, 362kg, for $1350 or 372c/kg.
AA & FE Birss sold 14 steers, 530kg, for $2170 or 409c/kg.
AC & RA Bowman sold 20 steers, 462kg, for $1930 or 417c/kg, and 19, 418kg, for $1770 or 423c/kg.
R Kimber sold eight steers, 438kg, for $1810 or 413c/kg.
TI Field sold 14 steers, 366kg, for $1650 or 450c/kg.
K Smith sold 20 steers, 425kg, for $1890 or 455c/kg.
BM & PE Lee sold 20 steers, 364kg, for $1650 or 453c/kg, and 18, 311kg, for $1590 or 511c/kg.
IJ Crooke sold 15 heifers, 16 months, 387kg, for $1560 or 403c/kg.
R Kimber sold six heifers, 400kg, for $1560 or 390c/kg.
B & G Wallace sold 18 heifers, 350kg, for $1500 or 428c/kg.
N McGowan sold 17 heifers, 354kg, for $1500 or 423c/kg.
TI Field sold 12 heifers, 322kg, for $1350 or 419c/kg.
G & R Van Tilburg sold 10 heifers, 287kg, for $1170 or 407c/kg.
T & C Howsen sold 21 heifers, 379kg, for $1630 or 430c/kg.
Ryslea Lodge sold five 2015-drop cows, which had been rejoined to an Angus bull, with calves at foot for $2800. Four cows with calves at foot also sold for $2875.
JAB Pastoral sold two calves with calves at foot for $2180.
G & M Smith sold six mixed age cows with Leawood-blood calves at foot for $2440, along with 11 cows and calves at foot for $2460.
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