A solid week of weaner sales across southern Australia culminated in Hereford steers peaking at 464c/kg at the Wodonga Blue Ribbon Weaner Sale on Friday.
Buyers remarked on the strength of the offering of autumn 2016 drop weaned calves and responded accordingly, paying to a top of $1480 or 393c/kg for the heavy end.
Albury-Wodonga Independent Stock Agents yarded 4110 grown steers, mixed sex weaners, and grown unjoined heifers in the fixture on January 13.
Buying pressure from steer finishers and lot feeders enabled vendors to pocket an extra $200 a head or 58c/kg on last year’s middle run of steers.
Cattle sold to Albury-Wodonga, Corryong, Wagga, Tumut, Stockinbingal, Dubbo, Bathurst, Gunnedah, Pakenham and South Australia.
Lot feeders were competitive in the heavy yearling and grown Hereford steers, paying 303-364c/kg or $1155-$1660 – a rise of $10 a head on the previous days sale at Wodonga.
Heavy Black Baldy spring drop steers topped the sale at $1240-$1690 or 342-423c/kg, and Hereford/Shorthorn-cross pens sold for 333-384c/kg or $1120-$1370.
Prices kicked in the genuine weaner lines, aged eight to 12 months, with the heavy end weighing over 350kg selling for 342-393c/kg or $1260-$1480.
The middle run of Hereford steers, weighing 250-350kg, made 333-426c/kg or $1020-$1350.
The lighter weight steers, under 250kg, fetched 432-464c/kg or $1030-$1100 – a lift of 33c/kg on the previous day.
As a comparison, Angus steers, 403kg, 10-11 months, sold for $1400 or 383c/kg, pens weighing 366kg sold for $1290 or 352c/kg and lighter autumn drop steers at 341kg made $1250 or 366c/kg.
In the heifer pens, unjoined Hereford females weighing over 300kg sold for 278-356c/kg or $1000-$1250.
Those under 300kg returned 321-388c/kg or $720-$1085 while Black Baldy heifers sold for 258-404c/kg or $970-$1460 on the back of feeder demand.
Sponsored by Herefords Australia, the champion pen was judged by Ben Davies, Thomas Foods International, and awarded to the McCormack family, Tallangatta South.
The 26 autumn 2016 drop steers, Mawarra blood, 10 months, weighed 370kg and sold for $1400 or 378c/kg.
Mr Davies described the steers as having weight for age, length, depth and shape.
Opening the autumn drop weaner run was a pen of 33 Yavenvale blood steers, 376kg, from “Booroola’’, Avenel, and selling for top price on a dollars per head basis of $1480 (393c/kg).
Laurie Bullen, of Booroola, offered a total of 68 steers and 53 heifers
“I never come to these sales with preconceived ideas but was expecting around $1200-$1400,’’ Mr Bullen said.
“I’m here to meet the market – we have benefited from repeat buyers over the past few years.’’
Neville and Trevor Ralston, Euroa, claimed the second top price of $1425 (375c/kg) with their 34 Rosstulla and Warrensville blood steers, 379kg.
Their seconds, weighing 335kg, returned 402c/kg or $1350.
The father and son team offered 77 steers and 37 heifers, all autumn drop, with the tops $165 up on last year.
“We like to sell at Wodonga due to the repeat buyers and extra competition from the bullock fatteners,’’ Neville said.
“The market has been good but we have waited a long time for this.’’
The Ralstons are impressed with the Hereford breed’s docility.
“It makes it a lot easier when handling them and they put on the weight,’’ Neville said.
Trent Boers, Ray White Schubert Boers, Albury, paid $1660 for the top pen of heavy Hereford steers, 492kg, from J & K Cardwell, Gundowring.
Teys Jindalee feedlot paid the market top price of $1690 for Black Baldy steers, 14-15 months, 493kg, offered by Rowe and Harkness, Koetong.
Topping the sale on a cents per kilogram basis was Dunoon blood steers, 237kg, sold by H Campbell, Koetong, for 464c/kg or $1100.
In the heifers, Yerrin, Lima South, claimed the too price with 492kg Black Baldies returning $1460, or 296c/kg.
H Nankervis, Corryong, topped the Hereford heifers on a cents per kilogram basis at 388c/kg with 252kg females.
John McLeod, Jingellic, rang the bell with EU accredited Black Baldy heifers, 257kg, at the top price of 404c/kg.
Loch Fraser, Mudgegonga, was pleased to sell spring drop steers, 418kg, Rosstulla blood, for $1440 or 344c/kg to Carter Lindsay Weber, Dubbo.
He also sold heifers, 354kg, for $1170 or 330c/kg.
“I finished the spring drop steers on oats over the winter and saved them for this sale,’’ Mr Fraser said.
“My average was up about $100 on last year but it wasn’t long ago we were going through the drought and selling beautiful heifers for under $400.
“The Hereford temperament is number one for me plus their doing ability and fertility.’’
Peter Ruaro, Ruaro Livestock and Property, Albury, said local and northern NSW buyers provided much of the buying strength at the sale.
“Backgrounders and lot feeders from central NSW were strong, paying 380-400c/kg,’’ he said.
“The autumn drop steers presented well – there was a lot of breeding there.
“The higher end of the heavy steers sold for 380-390c/kg and over 400c/kg on the lighter weights.
“The middle run was around 410-415c/kg – it was a good solid sale from go to whoa.’’
Mr Ruaro said the top pens of the heifers sold at 370-380c/kg, and drew feeder and restocker activity.
J & K Cardwell, Gundowring: 23, 492kg, $1660 or 337c/kg
I & J Lieschke, Henty: 18, 464kg, $1605 or 345c/kg
M & S Trewin, Bungil: 27, Yavenvale and Wirruna blood, $1550 or 342c/kg
Old Cobran Pastoral, Holbrook: 12, 430kg, $1500 or 348c/kg
Booroola, Avenel: 33, Yavenvale blood, 376kg, $1480 or 393c/kg
Loch Fraser, Mudgegonga: 11, 418kg, Rosstulla blood, $1440 or 344c/kg
N Ralson, Euroa: 34, Rosstulla and Warrensville blood, 329kg, $1425.
B & J Elliott, Talgarno: 32, Talgarno blood, 365kg, $1400 or 383c/kg.
Deloraine Rural, Beveridge: 28, Deloraine blood, 370kg, $1400 or 378c/kg.
F & J McCormack, Tallangatta: 26, Mawarra blood, 10 months, 370kg, $1400 or 378c/kg
H & W Heal, Euroa: 9, Tarcombe blood, 371kg, $1350 or 363c/kg
Grifforan Pastoral, Mansfield: 47, Rotherfield blood, 334kg, $1330 or 398c/kg.
J & R Scales, Dartmouth: 16, EU accred, 10-12 months, 329kg, $1265 or 384c/kg.
R Wallace, Kergunyah: 8, 14-15 months, 368kg, $1260 or 342c/kg
H Campbell, Koetong: 22, Dunoon blood, 293kg, $1260 or 430c/kg.
B & K Thomas, Tallangatta: 8, 8-10 months, 319kg, $1180 or 369c/kg
Roseleigh, Bungowannah: 14, 395kg, $1250 or 316c/kg
B & J Elliott, Talgarno: 10, 393kg, $1235 or 314c/kg
Old Cobran Pastoral, Holbrook: 16, Injemira and Wirruna blood, 364kg, $1220 or 335c/kg
N Ralston, Euroa: 16, Rosstulla and Warrensville blood, 345kg, $1210 or 350c/kg
Loch Fraser, Mudgegonga: 8, Rosstulla, 354kg, $1170 or 330c/kg
Booroola, Avenel: 32, Yavenvale blood, 323kg, $1150 or 356c/kg
Don Cameron & Sons, Bowna: 18, Wirruna blood, 15-17 months, 350kg, $1100 or 314c/kg
H & D Ronald, Benalla: 30, 348kg, $1080 or 310c/kg
H Nankervis, Corryong: 35, 252kg, $980 or 388c/kg
Darcy, Lynn and Laurie Bullen, Avenel, sold the top pen of autumn drop steers, Yavenvale blood, 376kg, for $1480 or 393c/kg at the Wodonga Blue Ribbon weaner sale.
Neville and Trevor Ralston, Euroa, claimed the second top price in the autumn drop weaners with Rosstulla and Warrensville blood steers, 379kg, returning $1425 or 375c/kg.
David and Clare McCormack, Tallangatta South, celebrate their Herefords Australia champion pen award. Their Mawarra blood steers, 10 months, 370kg, sold for $1400 or 378c/kg.
Ebony Glass represented her parents John and Robyn Scales, Dartmouth, at the Wodonga Blue Ribbon weaner sale. Their EU accredited, 10-12 month-old steers, 329kg, sold for $1265 or 384c/kg.
Loch Fraser, Mudgegonga, pictured with his nephew James Tibbels, Sydney, sold spring drop steers, Rosstulla blood, for $1440 at the Wodonga Blue Ribbon sale.