Restockers and bullock fatteners found their way back into the market at Yea's monthly store sale - at a price.
Agents yarded 1594 head of cattle, with steers selling to a high of $2960 and heifers to $2500.
Nutrien Delaney Livestock & Property Pakenham manager Anthony Delaney said the mixed, late-winter yarding contained "decent lines" of cattle, which sold to equally strong rates as other yards.
"It may have possibly been a bit dearer," Mr Delaney said.
"Two people latch on, up here, and you can't get them off."
One of the lightest pens, six Angus steers from Edi Park, 197kg, sold for $1620 or 822c/kg, to Paul and Scollard, Myrtleford.
A pen of nine Wildcroft Charolais-cross steers, 218kg, sold for $1960, or 899c/kg.
Two people latch on, up here, and you can't get them off.
Mr Delaney said there was strong competition from local and Goulburn Valley agents, as well as the major feedlots.
Feedlots included Garrison, JBS, Comdain, Australian Food and Agriculture, Hopkins River, Conroy Brothers and Jalna, while commission buyers bought cattle as well.
Nutrien Paull & Scollard, Ray White Rural, Albury (NSW) Yea, Bendigo and Gippsland agents were also at the sale.
"Restockers were able to get back in, but at very strong rates," Mr Delaney said.
Buyers would have to pay $2000 for steers, which were 50-60kg lighter than they were a month ago.
"It's all grass and season driven," he said.
"It was a great day to buy 20 steers, but it would have been pretty hard to by 200."
Elders Yea livestock agent Ryan Sargeant said it appeared feedlots were trying to secure lighter cattle.
"They are going to put them on grass, to go back in the feed pens come October or November when the general rush of feedlot cattle come on board," Mr Sargeant said.
"They are hedging their bets a bit, I think, to try and forecast the price - they are just playing it a bit safe."
He said Elders sold some pens of "sub-200kg" cattle.
"They would have been quoted up to 900c/kg - some of those calves made up to $1880-1890, so it was very, very solid on that end.
"It's hard to wrap your head around it, it's hard to get a 300kg steers under $2100-$2200, that's close to 700c/kg."
The heifer category was similarly strong.
"There probably wasn't the quality in the heifers, producers have obviously kept their best heifers and we are seeing the secondary ones come into the yards."
M Purcell sold 10 Connamara-blood steers, 590kg, for $2960 or 501c/kg.
G Reid and Sons, Colbinnabin, sold 16 Merridale-blood steers, 519kg, for $2860 or 551c/kg.
Reid's pen of 21, 464kg, sold for $2570 or 553c/kg.
Koriella sold 20 Wirrunna-blood Hereford steers, 388kg, for $2230 or 574c/kg.
Their seconds, 20 steers, 332kg, sold for $2010 or 605c/kg.
James Miller, Trawool, sold 10 Dysart and Paringa-blood steers, 431kg, for $2460 or 570c/kg.
A second pen of 12, ave 382kg for $2260, or 591c/kg.
Broderick Family Trust sold 11 Allendale-blood steers, 442kg, for $2400 or 4542c/kg.
Sam Pastoral, Muckleford, sold 18 Mount Difficult and Wirruna-blood steers, 469kg, for $2440, or 520c/kg.
Their pen of 15 steers, 433kg, sold for $2240 or 517c/kg.
Hayhill, Glenburn, sold 19 Simmental-cross steers, 287kg, for $1870, or 615c/kg.
Hayhill's 24 steers, 201kg, sold for $1620 or 805c/kg.
S Beecroft sold 12 steers, 308kg, for $1840 or 597c/kg.
Wayville Meadows, Alexandra, sold seven steers, 383kg, for $2100 or 548c/kg.
Kaloomah Pastoral, Gobur, sold 24 Hereford steers, 329kg, for $2200, or 669c/kg and a further 26, av 387kg, for $2090 or 540c/kg.
S Creighton, Alexandra, sold 20 Lawsons-blood steers, 319kg, for $2200 or 689c/kg.
Creighton's seconds, 16 steers, av 275kg, sold for $2000 or 727c/kg.
Murrindindi sold 30 Connamara-blood steers, 269kg, for $2040 or 758c/kg.
Mt Erica sold 12 Wattletop-blood steers, 259kg, for $1900 or 733c/kg.
B Sullivan sold seven steers, 286kg, for $2000 or 699c/kg.
S Reynolds sold 11 steers, 282kg, for $1990 or 705c/kg.
Yarrihapini, Creightons Creek, sold 22 steers, 214k, for $1805 or 843c/kg.
Whangregarwen Pastoral, Yea, sold nine Kelly and Paringa-blood steers, 306kg, for $1970 or 644c/kg.
Crickstown sold 10 Angus steers, 170kg, for $1400 or 823c/kg.
Sims Farming Lockington sold 25 Phoenix Park, Baldridge Command, Clunie Range Legend and S Powerpoint steers, 236kg, for $1890 or 800c/kg.
Nutrien Ag Solutions livestock agent Chris Pollard said the market was dearer again and there were some opportunities for restockers and bullock fatteners.
"If their pockets were deep enough, they got a chance," he said.
"A lot of Gippsland is that wet a lot of them are not operating yet
"When that dries down there they are going to at least hold the job where it is."
In the heifers, Braeside Lodge sold a pen of eight, 438kg, for $2390 or 546c/kg.
Boxhill, Yea, sold five heifers, 460kg, for $2340 or 509c/kg.
B&S Tanner sold seven Alpine-blood heifers, 428kg, for $2250 or 526c/kg.
Whangregarwen sold 10 heifers, 430kg, for $2220 or 516c/kg.
Their seconds, 14 heifers, 282kg, sold for $1710 or 606c/kg.
G&L Manson sold 16 heifers, 321kg, for $1960 or 610c/kg.
R&J Goodman sold 11 Limousin-cross heifers, 240kg, for $1590 or 662c/kg.
Edi Park sold 13 Angus heifers, 205kg, for $1490 or 726c/kg.
Mickelham Holdings sold 10 Hereford heifers, 248kg, for $1540 or 620c/kg.
Killara Pastoral sold 11 Angus heifers, 296kg, for $1820 or 615c/kg.
Tuck Services sold 16 Angus heifers, 206kg, for $1480 or 718c/kg.