Soggy conditions in southern Victoria did not deter restockers from bidding for cattle at Leongatha's store sale on Friday in what agents described as a typical South Gippsland yarding.
Weaner cattle sold beyond 700 cents a kilogram while grown steers and cow and calf units surged past $3000 in a sale which featured about 2300 cattle.
The absence of two regular feedlot buyers had little effect on the buoyancy of the market, agents said, as fierce competition among Gippsland grass fatteners underpinned the sale.
Nutrien South Gippsland Livestock manager Brian McCormack said the sale lacked the quality cattle which were on offer a fortnight earlier.
"The prices on the weaner calves held on well and stepped up well by just a fraction," he said.
"It was grass fatteners who were trying to get back in and kept the market very strong."
SEJ livestock manager Jimmy Kyle said graziers were "desperately scrambling" for a week or two of good weather to dry out to harden up the soil.
"Most of the cattle over 400kg went to feedlotters but it was the cattle between 250-300kg which were the most highly sought after," he said.
"A highlight of our sale was a pen of bucket-reared Angus/Friesian-cross calves which weighed between 200-230kg and made $1590.
"It's a credit to the breeders because everyone likes a good pen of nice and quiet crossbred steers and they sold certainly above expectations."
The pen of crossbred calves was consigned by Charlie Hengstberger and Jordi Stockdale, Mardan.
Elders Leongatha and Korumburra auctioneer Damien Minogue said the sale was comparatively firm with other Victorian cattle sales, despite the mixed yarding.
"There was something for everyone with a lot of mixed cattle, however, the well-bred cattle sold extremely well, and then the little cattle were making above 600c/kg which was a pretty common figure," he said.
"Feeder cattle were fully up there with other market rates and some of the plainer, smaller lines of heifers were just a whisker cheaper."
Alex Scott & Staff Leongatha auctioneer Dane Perczyk said cattle sold to firm rates.
"I would have said it was a normal Koonwarra store sale with some very good cattle and then there was some secondary and crossbred cattle as well," he said.
"Like every sale, it was very consistent on what the market has been and cattle sold exceptionally well."
In the grown steer section, G & H Phillips sold five Angus and Black Baldy steers, 712kg, for $3320 or 466c/kg and seven Hereford steers, 655kg, for $3100 or 458c/kg.
Jenny McIlwaine, Mardan, sold 20 steers, 579kg, for $3300 or 569c/kg.
DO & MT Blake sold 12 Hereford steers, 709kg, for $3200 or 451c/kg, while D Jurgenson sold 12 steers, 576kg, for $3140 or 545c/kg.
S & D Hooper sold 12 Angus steers, 611kg, for $3160 or 517c/kg and another 12, 543c/kg, for $3100 or 570c/kg.
E & K Triantafllou sold 14 Charolais steers, 538kg, for $3030 or 563c/kg and C & C White sold 13 Angus steers, 543c/kg, for $3130 or 576c/kg.
P & H Linke sold six Angus/Hereford-cross steers, 666kg, for $2980 or 447c/kg.
Doonagatha, Sandy Point, sold seven Angus steers, 534c/kg, for $2900 or 543c/kg and one of the dearest steer calf pens with 27 Angus, 339kg, going under the hammer for $2440 or 719c/kg.
Gus McCauly sold 55 steers including 10 Angus steers, 633kg, for $3180 or 502c/kg and 12 steers, 575kg, for $3140 or 546c/kg.
Bass Coast Boats sold five Angus-cross steers, 610kg, for $2780 or 455c/kg.
R Rodgers sold seven steers, 580kg, for $2740 or 465c/kg.
P & N McNaughton sold six Angus/Limousin-cross steers, 475kg, for $2140 or 450c/kg.
In the light steer section, Lorstan sold 18 Angus steer calves, 375kg, for $2380 or 635c/kg.
M & J Elliott sold five Angus steers, 380kg, for $2380 or 628c/kg.
I & D Bell sold 10 Angus steers, 303kg, for $2150 or 709c/kg.
E & J Bennett, Mirboo North, sold 26 Angus steers, 341kg, for $2170 or 636c/kg.
J & J Killian sold eight Black Baldy steers, 342kg, for $2300 or 672c/kg and 12 Hereford steers, 321kg, for $2120 or 660c/kg.
JD Cochrane sold five steers, 306kg, for $1760 or 520c/kg.
Tablelands sold 21 Hereford steers, 343kg, for $2120 or 618c/kg.
Thurn Pastoral sold 14 Angus steers, 425kg, for $2000 or 470c/kg and nine steers, 378kg, for $1860.
Meanwhile, in the heifer sale, G & S Wiggins sold eight Angus heifers, 341kg, for $1880 or 551c/kg.
John Jansen sold eight Angus heifers, 299kg, for $1720 or 575c/kg.
M & C Pastoral sold six Murray Grey-cross heifers, 289kg, for $1400 or 484c/kg.
Olenka Holding sold five Charolais heifers, 370kg, for $2100 or 567c/kg.
In the cow and calf section, Embryo Life sold one Speckle Park cow with a calf at foot for $3620.
B Jenkins sold three Angus cows with calves at foot for $3580.
Roseleigh & L Bowman sold three Angus cows with calves at foot for $3020.
Ben Bullen sold two Speckle Park cows with calves at foot for $2950.
R Affleck sold three Angus cows with calves at foot for $2700.
Bracenhurst sold nine Angus cows with calves at foot for $2720.