Whiteface seedstock heavyweights went head to head to snap up a large portion of the Hereford offering at the Hamilton All Breeds Heifer sale on Wednesday.
Yarram Park’s Western District Pastoral Company and Injemira Beef Genetics, Wagga, were among the dominant players, paying the top prices in the Hereford run of $1306 or 406c/kg.
Selling agents, Hamilton Independent Stock Agents, yarded 1980 Hereford, Black Baldy, Hereford cross and Angus autumn 2016-drop heifer weaners for the January 18 sale.
It fired the opening salvo in the run of Hereford weaner heifer feature sales for 2017.
Jeremy Upton, Yarram Park, Willaura, underpinned the Hereford pens, picking up more than 200 head for $1106-$1306, or 350-397c/kg.
The heifers will bolster number in Yarram Park’s commercial arm, Western District Pastoral, in South Australia.
Mr Upton was happy to pay up to 397c/kg for quality breeder cattle.
“They are well worth it given the market,’’ he said.
“They are going into a commercial breeding program in south east South Australia – we are looking to buy up to 500 over the next few days.’’
Marc Greening, Injemira Beef Genetics, Wagga, was buying heifers for his Injemira Advantage program, paying $1109-$1262, or 371-406c/kg.
“Under the program, these heifers will be either joined and sold or fed for the Coles Graze product,’’ he said.
“The sale was very strong on the well bred lines.’’
The vast majority of the pens returned to the paddock through Mt Gambier agents, Miller Whan and John.
Andrew Whan put together more than 300 head, paying from $908 to a top of $1130, or 350-373c/kg for heifers weighing 251-309kg.
JBS Australia operated on the opening pen of Shorthorn-Herefords, 362kg and EU accredited, for their Longford plant and paying $1263 or 349c/kg.
The balance of the yarding was bought by Hardwicks, Elders Ararat and Kerr & Co, Hamilton.
With the vast majority of Hereford pens accredited European Union, there was no premium in the sale.
The heavier autumn drop Hereford heifers over 350kg sold for 348-366c/kg or $1280-$1306.
Heifers weighing 250-350kg returned $892-$1266 or 329-406c/kg.
A limited number of lightweight pens weighing under 250kg made $728-$859 or 306-370c/kg while Black Baldies sold for $967-$1262 or 335-365c/kg.
As a comparison, the middle run of Angus heifers, 250-350kg, generally sold for 361-371c/kg or $1151-$1254.
Topping the sale on a dollars per head basis was a pen of 27 EU accredited heifers, Yarram Park and Mawarra blood, 357kg, offered by Leon and Sally Wheeler, Wallacedale, and sold for $1306 or 366c/kg.
They were bought by the Western Districts Pastoral Company.
“I’ve kept 80 heifers at home – last week my steers averaged 391kg and 372c/kg,’’ Mr Wheeler said.
“That equated to $208 up on last year – that’s cream.
“There are plenty of people still catching up from the bad years but we will invest in infrastructure.’’
The top price on a cents per kilogram basis was 406c/kg paid by Injemira Beef Genetics for 26 EU accredited, Injemira and Yarram Park blood, 300kg heifers offered by Bruce and Debbie Miller, “Rowan”, Casterton.
The Millers offered 44 heifers this year – last year they averaged 309c/kg for heifers averaging 309kg.
“The sale was exceptional – we are thankful for the support of the stud breeders,’’ Mr Miller said.
‘The Injemira Advantage creates competition for us – I was thinking 360-370c/kg coming into the sale so I’m pretty pleased.’’
Paul Malseed, “Orana’’, Breakaway Creek, sold his top pen to Western Districts Pastoral for $1266 or 397c/kg.
Mr Malseed was among many Hereford vendors to offer European Union accredited cattle.
“There wasn’t much of a premium on the steer side this year but in other years there has been,’’ he said.
“Three years ago, we were getting not much above 200c/kg and the EU premium gave us another 10c/kg.
“But, I can’t say it makes a big difference in the heifers.’’
Mr Malseed said the EU requirements were not onerous and it was a case of “learn as you go’’.
“We have retained 50 per cent of our heifers this year – last year we averaged just over 300c/kg over the run.’’
The draft of 186 autumn drop Orana steers averaged $1304 last week at Hamilton, or $108 up on last year.
In total, the Hamilton yards sold 9200 steers (all breeds) averaging 356kg, 378c/kg and $1359 last week.
Just 1.5 per cent of the calves weighed under 280kg, with 280-360kg steers averaging 395c/kg across all breeds.
Bill and Geoff Lambert, Taronga, Paschendale, sold EU accredited, Taronga blood, 297kg, heifers for $1087 or 366c/kg – 54c/kg up on last year.
“Last year we sold our seconds at Hamilton, weighing 279kg, for 312c/kg while the tops, weighing 306kg, sold at Casterton for $899 or 294c/kg,’’ Bill said.
Ron and Travis Beaton, Giant Rock Partnership, Nareen, welcomed the stud support at the sale.
“It was definitely good to see the Herefords keeping up with the Angus today,’’ Travis said.
“There was some heifers too light for the restockers but people will definitely not go home disappointed.’’
Ron has retained 60 heifers and invested in 20 tops of the drop Mt Widderin heifers, bought on AuctionsPlus for $1450.
Last year the Giant Rock seconds weighed 266kg and sold for 302c/kg – this year they weighed 288kg and sold for 363c/kg, a jump of 61c/kg.
Auctioneer Jack Hickey, J M Ellis & Co, Hamilton, cited the outstanding support from stud breeders for the sale.
“Once the buyers moved off the feeder heifers there was a depth of stud breeders operating on a good class of restocker lines, which made 365-400c/kg,’’ Mr Hickey said.
L & S Wheeler: 27, EU accred, 357kg, Yarram Park and Mawarra blood, $1306 or 366c/kg
Orana: 22, Yarram Park and Bowmont blood, 319kg, EU, $1266 or 397c/kg
Rowan: 13, EU, 327kg, Yarram Park and Injemira blood, $1262 or 386c/kg
S Beaton: 12, Mt Difficult and Melville Park blood, 345kg, $1259 or 365c/kg
R S Rundell & Sons: 19, Golf Hill and Glendan Park blood, 325kg, EU, $1199 or 369c/kg
Stoney Rises: 29, Bowmont blood, 323kg, $1169 or 362c/kg
Murndal: 16, Yarram Park blood, EU, 305kg, $1140 or 374c/kg
Giant Rock P/ship: 26, Injemira/Melville Park/Wilkah/Mt Difficult blood, 299kg, EU, $1109 or 371c/kg
Haven Park: 14, 310kg, EU, $1085 or 350c/kg
Crawford: 23, 292kg, EU, $1022 or 350c/kg
Kalena: 10, Bendulla blood, 284kg, EU, $1022 or 360c/kg
Konongwootong: 21, EU, 307kg, $1117 or 364c/kg
Denhills: 14, Melville Park and Taronga blood, 282kg, $1012 or 359c/kg
Lonestar: 12, Yarram Park blood, 316kg, $1106 or 350c/kg
Taronga: 20, EU, Taronga blood, 297kg, $1087 or 366c/kg
The Poplars: 40, South Boorook blood, 251kg, $936 or 373c/kg
Lightwood: 11, Melville Park blood, 293kg, $922 or 315c/kg
Farena: 25, 240kg, $859 or 358c/kg
Leon Wheeler, Wallacedale, topped the Hamilton feature female sale with EU accredited, Yarram Park and Mawarra blood heifers, 357kg, selling at $1306 or 366c/kg.
David Jenkin, Banemore Herefords, Penshurst, was among the large crowd at the Hamilton feature female sale.
Kathy and Bill Lambert, Taronga, Paschendale, sold Taronga blood heifers, 297kg, for $1087 or 366c/kg at the Hamilton sale.
Carolyn, Hayley and Rhys Malseed, “Orana”, Breakaway Creek, sold their top pen of heifers, 319kg, for $1266 or 397c/kg at Hamilton.
Travis and Ron Beaton, Giant Rock Partnership, Nareen, sold this pen of heifers, 299kg, and EU accredited, for $1109 or 371c/kg at Hamilton.
Jeremy Upton was buying for the Western Districts Pastoral Company, paying 350-397c/kg or $1106-$1306 at Hamilton.
Warren Clark, Lanyons, Hamilton, and ALPA director, was looking after heifers sold by clients Scott and Erin Herrmann.
Scott and Erin Herrmann, Hamilton, with their children Noah and Lara, sold heifers for $1106 or 350c/kg.
Debbie and Bruce Miller, Casterton, sold heifers for the sale top of 406c/kg to Marc Greening, Injemira Beef Genetics, Wagga.