Whiteface breeders have set the markets alight this year with bulls worth an additional $5.2 million sold under the hammer, and store weaners ringing the bell at 681c/kg.
Commercial whiteface producers rode the wave of record prices in the nation’s store markets, fuelled by improved seasonal conditions, a reduced national cowherd and insatiable buyer demand.
The number of whiteface bulls sold at auction in 2016 increased by 401 or 16 per cent on 2015, along with a $1045 rise in the average sale price.
In 2016, 2779 bulls sold under the hammer from the 3291 offered, for an 84 per cent clearance, average of $6917 and gross of $19,225,113.
In 2015, 2378 bulls sold from 2864 offered for an 83 per cent clearance, average of $5872 and gross of $13,964,605.
The top price for the year of $110,000 was set at the Injemira 45th annual “Carcase Revolution’’ bull production sale at Book Book, NSW, on February 23.
Brian Burgess, Ravensdale Poll Herefords, Holbrook, NSW, bought Injemira Anzac K220 from Injemira principal Marc Greening.
The new breed on-property record average of $11,700 was set on July 21 by Stephen and Jodi Peake, Bowen Poll Herefords, Barraba, NSW.
Prices for Hereford weaners rocketed into unchartered territory in September with heifers selling for a whopping 681c/kg at Bairnsdale.
According to Meat and Livestock Australia’s national reporting service, a run of 33 Hereford heifers, under 200kg, returned the sale high of 681c/kg or $790 at the Bairnsdale sale on September 9 in Victoria.
Whiteface females have been the hot ticket item this year with restockers paying to $3100 for first calf heifers, $2700 for PTIC heifers and $1820 for unjoined yearling heifers in November.
In June, the Crane family’s dispersal of six and seven-year-old Hereford cows with calves and rejoined set a new record for the Tamworth Livestock Exchange of $3050.
At the Central Tablelands Livestock Exchange at Carcoar, NSW, a pen of 18 first calf Hereford cows with calves, two to four months, topped the yarding at $3100.
Hereford steers hit a new breed record of 660c/kg in store sales during November.
Steers weighing under 200kg returned a high of 600-660c/kg at Bairnsdale on November 11, eclipsing the previous high of 580c/kg in September 2016.
In prime cattle markets, a breed record was set at Yass when R Heffernan, Bega, sold purebred steers for $2503.
In the west, demand remained solid for purebred steers with Aramea Pty Ltd selling bullocks, 755kg, at Boyanup for $1932.
And, in South Australia spring-drop Yambro blood steers rang the bell at 457c/kg for Brimberry Park.
In the north, Wondolin Pastoral Co, Surat, Qld, sold grain fed whiteface steers, 575kg, to top the Roma prime sale on $1837, and Hereford-Santa Gertrudis cross bullocks topped the Toogoolawah store sale at $1920.
Wararba Park purebred backgrounding steers, 256kg, EU accredited, from Meanderra, returned 433c/kg or $1110.
Noel Thompson, Coraki, sold Hereford-Brahman cross heifers at the Primex Field Days, Casino, for $1660.
PTIC Shorthorn-Hereford cross heifers, 20-22 months, from Whorouly, Vic, made $2400 on AuctionsPlus in November, and unjoined Hereford-Santa Gertrudis heifers with calves, from Widden, NSW, made $2550.
The top price in the Hereford cross steer pens came in November with Wagyu-Hereford steers, 13-15 months, 346kg, from Barraba, NSW, selling for 546c/kg or $1890 on-line.
But, Black Baldy steers eclipsed this with a price high of 589c/kg at Bairnsdale on September 23.