NSW graziers with an abundance of grass underpinned the final Hamilton store weaner sale on Thursday where light-weight heifers sold beyond 780 cents a kilogram.
Agents yarded more than 2550 female cattle for the feature heifer sale, marking a mammoth end to an enormous selling week at the Hamilton Regional Livestock Exchange where 13,000 cattle were sold.
Kerr & Co Hamilton auctioneer Zac Van Wegen said many of the first and second runs of cattle were bought by clients in NSW, SA and Victoria to be used as future breeding females.
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"We had close to 1000 cattle here today and the top end sold better than expected," Mr Van Wegen said.
"A couple of guys from Glen Innes and Inverell, NSW, chased a large number of black breeders which really pushed the job along, as well as people from the Colac and Camperdown area chasing quality cattle."
Mr Van Wegen said the buoyant market rates were a combination of promising feed sources north of the Murray River, as well as a depleted national cow herd after years of drought in the north.
"With so much rain and feed up north, farmers have a bit of cash about them and are looking to restock with breeding females and there's no better place to come and do that than here at Hamilton," he said.
The heaviest end of the yarding weighed close to 400 kilograms and sold on average from 600-630c/kg, agents said, while cattle 350-400kg made from 630-660c/kg, on average.
Heifers below 330kg made up to and well beyond 700c/kg, peaking at 784c/kg in the first two runs of the sale.
"We had about two or three good local orders and once again on those middle runs of heifers, 280-350kg, those local buyers were pretty strong on those," Mr Van Wegen said.
Corra Pastoral sold the first pen of 18 Angus heifers, 399kg, for 626c/kg or $2487, followed by 10 Angus steers account Garrangreena, 395kg, for 622c/kg or $2456 which also sold 37 heifers, 304kg, for 758c/kg.
Mount View sold 10 Angus heifers, 361kg, for 668c/kg or $2411 and 30 heifers, 315kg, for 762c/kg or $2400, while Leanach, Gorae, sold 12 Angus heifers, 356kg, for 640c/kg or $2278.
Southern Grampians Livestock auctioneer Dylan Praolini said the heifer draft on average was up by about 30kg across the yarding compared to the same sale in 2021.
"It's the first time in a long time that more than 10 or 15 per cent of the market has been bought to go back as breeders," he said.
"We could be up around 30-40pc of that top run of cattle that will be retained which is great to see.
"We also had a few local buyers, buyers from south-east South Australia and NSW being a big support as well as some buyers from AuctionsPlus."
Among the feature lines was 90 Angus heifers consigned by Camp Creek, Byaduk, which included 11 Angus heifers, 383kg, for 672c/kg or $2573 and the best presented pen of the sale, 29 heifers, 343kg, for 758c/kg or $2599.
The Linke family, Mt Napier, Mt Napier, sold 104 Angus heifers, eight to 10 months, including 18 heifers, 344kg, for 714c/kg or $2456, 45 heifers, 314kg, for 786c/kg or $2468 and 24 heifers, 294kg, for 752c/kg.
Heifers have sold to 784 cents a kilogram at Hamilton’s feature female weaner sale this morning. Ten-month-old calves to $2400 a head. Lots of graziers buying cattle as future breeders. About 2500 cattle yarded. #agchatoz@firstname.lastname@example.org/gkvoVarpI0— Bryce Eishold (@BryceEishold) January 12, 2022
RS Rundell & Sons, Breakaway Creek, sold 82 Hereford heifers including 17 heifers, 322kg, for 656c/kg or $2112 and 39 heifers, 285kg, for 684c/kg or $1949.
Paul and Carolyn Malseed, Orana Partnership, Breakaway Creek, sold 70 Hereford heifers, nine and 10 months, including 21 heifers, 315kg, for 665c/kg or $2091, 35 heifers, 279kg, for 686c/kg or $1913 and 14 heifers, 240kg, for 708c/kg or $1699.
Bellwood Park sold 10 Angus heifers, 382kg, for 620c/kg or $2368 and 19 Angus heifers, 326kg, for 710c/kg or $2314.
Stenmark sold 20 Angus heifers, 337kg, for 690c/kg or $2325.
Coffey Partnership sold 20 Angus heifers, 337kg, for 694c/kg or $2338.
Corra Pastoral also sold 20 Angus heifers, 372kg, for 652c/kg or $2425.
Lanulac sold 22 Angus heifers, February/March 2021-drop, 350kg, for 700c/kg or $2450 and 30 Angus heifers, 304kg, for 758c/kg or $2304.
Athlone sold 21 Angus heifers, 327kg, for 692c/kg or $2262.
Nanna's Farm sold 17 Angus heifers, 327kg, for 672c/kg or $2197.
Englewood sold 10 Angus heifers, 355kg, for 636c/kg or $2257.
Greenhills sold 14 Angus heifers, 290kg, for 670c/kg or $1943.
Winninburn sold 11 Angus heifers, March/April 2021-drop, 336kg, for 714c/kg or $2399.
WL Bath sold 10 Angus heifers, 343kg, for 658c/kg or $2256.
IS & HJ Brown sold 17 Angus heifers, 362kg, for 714c/kg or $2584.
Cairnbaan sold 16 Angus heifers, 345kg, for 670c/kg or $2311.
Carrawatha sold 16 Angus heifers, 325kg, for 690c/kg or $2242.
Waradgery sold 19 Angus heifers, 311kg, for 730c/kg or $2270.
Fixby Partnership sold 20 Angus heifers, 340kg, for 686c/kg or $2332.
Calga Pastoral sold 20 Angus heifers, 319kg, for 712c/kg or $2271.
Roo Park sold 14 Angus heifers, 338kg, for 684c/kg or $2311.
Cadell sold 30 Angus heifers, 301kg, for 732c/kg or $2203.
The Wash sold 14 Hereford heifers, 278kg, for 684c/kg or $1901.
LR Wheeler sold 17 Hereford heifers, 348kg, for 646c/kg or $2248.
Rowan sold 20 Hereford heifers, 304kg, for 696c/kg or $2215.
Russlyn sold 18 Hereford heifers, 334kg, for 736c/kg or $2458.