An "absolutely superb" season has meant Brooklyn Pastoral's weaners are looking as good as they ever have, but conditions haven't always been as promising as they are now.
Tony Reardon, who runs the Mansfield farm with his mother Margo and two teenage sons Tom and Ben, said the season really turned around last month.
"It was a little bit tough early on in spring, we just weren't getting enough sunshine," Mr Reardon said.
"September and October were quite cold and wet, and we weren't getting that growth that we would normally get.
"The calves hadn't really put on much weight until November, but they've put on stacks of weight in the last six weeks."
As a result, he believed his weaners would "definitely be heavier" than previous years, an estimated 20-30 kilograms, in fact.
"The season's absolutely superb now," he said.
"And the weaners look magnificent because of the season.
"Other years have been tough, we've had to feed them more, but this year they've been able to stay on the cows longer.
"I haven't weaned them yet, I'll probably do that next week."
The heavier weights of this year's weaners could result in excellent returns for Brooklyn Pastoral.
At this year's weaner sale in January, the Reardons offered one of the largest runs of the Wodonga sale - 110 steers, with the top pen of 50, 373kg, selling for $1830 a head or 490 cents a kilogram, and being awarded the best presented pen of the market.
Next year, Brooklyn Pastoral will offer 170 mixed-sex Hereford, Poll Hereford and Black Baldy March/April-drop weaners at Wodonga's weaner sale.
And with the cattle market the way it is at the moment, Mr Reardon said "anything could happen" come January.
"We've had some tough years, season-wise and market-wise; those droughts we had weren't good and the prices weren't good either," he said.
"But now, every week cattle prices are hitting new territory, and it's finally our turn to have a good run.
"Some of the early weaner sales at Wodonga and Yea are making enormous money, hopefully it continues."
He's been a loyal vendor at the Wodonga weaner sales for the last 15 years, a market he believes gives him great access to northern buyers.
"It's always been a good sale for us," he said.
"We used to sell at the Mansfield sale but when that stopped, we moved to the Wodonga one."
His weaners come from predominantly Glendan Park bloodlines, a stud he was introduced to about five years ago at Herefords Australia's National Show and Sale at Wodonga.
He now buys one or two bulls a year at the Kyneton-based stud's on-property bull sale.
"I bought a bull from Glendan Park a few years ago and he bred some really nice females, and I'd been having some issues with some other bulls I'd been using breaking down or having bad feet, so I was keen to make the transition," he said.
"I'm getting good weight gain now, which is what's most important."
He said his breeding philosophy was simple - he aspired to breed "good, easy-doing cattle that grow out for whoever buys them".
And it was normally bullock fatteners or feedlots competing for his weaners at Wodonga.
Mr Reardon was pleased that his two boys were keen to lend a helping hand on the farm when they weren't at school.
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