Grass fed steer finishers bolstered by an export order resulted in prices topping out at 340c/kg for autumn drop Hereford weaners at Casterton on Tuesday.
Selling agents Landmark Casterton yarded 2200 Hereford, Black Baldy and Angus weaners for their annual steer weaner sale.
Pre-weaned Hereford cattle of known performance and genetics were highly sought after for finishing for the grassfed markets.
Many pens also headed to South Australia for grain finishing.
Vendors had rounded down their expectations after last year’s dizzy heights with most placing their faith in the 320c/kg mark, or $1/kg less than 2017.
Autumn 2017 drop Hereford steers weighing 250-350kg liveweight sold for 300-340c/kg or $856-$1072 – equating to a 10c/kg rise on the previous day’s Elders sale at Casterton.
Heavier steers weighing 350kg and over made 297-310c/kg or $1069-$1156 – a fall of 4c/kg on the Elders Casterton sale.
European Union accredited steers sold for 302-340c/kg or $856-$1156.
Thomas Foods International were active on the Black Baldy pens, with steers making 309-331c/kg or $1172-$1239.
Angus pens had a weight advantage with the middle run making 290-347c/kg or $1103-$1276.
Cattle were mostly booked to Carter Lindsay & Weber, Dubbo; Miller Whan & John, Mt Gambier; Pinkerton Palm Hamlyn & Steen, Naracoorte; and Elders Mt Gambier.
Wagga commission buyer Andrew Lowe sourced cattle for grain finishing for a Russian export order through Landmark International, paying 329-364c/kg for cattle weighing 304-364kg.
Topping the Hereford market on a cents per kilogram basis was Casterton vendor Clyde Lawrence, “Karingal”, with a pen of Injemira and Yarram Park blood, European Union accredited steers, weighing 252kg.
The steers were snapped up for 340c/kg by Pinkerton Palm Hamlyn & Steen, Mt Gambier, SA.
Mr Lawrence had expected the lightweight calves to sell well but was disappointed with his top pen weighing 371kg bringing 309c/kg. His seconds weighing 325kg sold for 324c/kg.
“The prices were down on the black cattle but it doesn’t mean to say I will buy a heap of Angus bulls next week – the Hereford’s temperament is a big plus and there is nothing better than seeing a well bred Hereford grazing in the paddock,’’ Mr Lawrence said.
Manny Carlin, “Butchers”, Casterton, topped the Hereford pens on a dollars per head basis at $1156 – $154 down on his top price of $1310 last year.
The pen of Taronga blood steers were European Union accredited, were the heaviest in the Hereford yarding at 383kg and had been weaned for seven weeks on hay.
“We couldn’t expect to receive the prices that were paid last year,’’ Mr Carlin said.
Ben Redfern, Ray White Emms Mooney, Molong, judged the Herefords Australia champion pen and presented the award to Alan and Debbie Millard, Welbanite, Merino.
Mr Redfern described the December weaned calves as an even pen with length, bone and nice heads.
The pen of 25 Banemore and Bowmont blood steers opened the Hereford run, weighed 364kg, were EU accredited, and sold for 310c/kg or $1128 to Matt Weber, Carter Lindsay & Weber, Dubbo, NSW.
A second generation commercial Hereford breeder, Mr Millard said the breed’s fertility and docility were advantages.
“The year has been hard season wise but our weaning weights were similar to last year,’’ he said.
“Last year we averaged $1250, giving us confidence to reinvest back into the property and new genetics.
“We had been expecting prices of 300-320c/kg today – EU gives us a 5-10c/kg premium.
“I was happy with the seconds making 329c/kg – it’s a bit of a lottery at the Casterton casino.
“We will be retaining all our heifers this year and building herd numbers.’’
Wayne Sealey, Strathlea, Casterton, was on hand to see his top pen of Melville Park blood steers sell for 305c/kg or $1104 to Carter Lindsay & Weber.
“I offered 34 steers this year with the tops weighing 363kg, which is a little up on last year’s weights,’’ Mr Sealey said.
“This is an annual turn off for me – the Herefords are easy to work with and they do well in this area.’’
Long time vendors Kevin and Alan McDonald, Sunningdale, Digby, offered 28 steers, with their seconds making 316c/kg.
Alan said the excessively wet year had proved difficult to put weight on the calves, with 975mm of rainfall received.
“The smaller the cattle were today, the better they sold – ours will average out pretty well.’’
Jack Rees, Retreat, Casterton, was pleased with the average weight of his pen at 338kg – up 22kg on last year.
His pen of Taronga blood weaners sold for 315c/kg or $1065.
Butchers: 9, Taronga blood, EU, 383kg, 302c/kg or $1156
Karingal: 17, Injemira and Yarram Park blood, EU, 371kg, 309ckg or $1146
Welbanite: 25, EU, Banemore blood, 364kg, 310c/kg or $1128
Sunningdale: 11, Banemore blood, 376kg, 298c/kg or $1120
Wyuna: 11, Injemira and Melville Park blood, 370kg, 299c/kg or $1106
Hazelbank: 13, Wilkah blood, 366kg, 302c/kg or $1105.
Strathlea: 14, Melville Park blood, 362kg, 305c/kg or $1104
Glenside: 12, Banemore blood, 364kg, 300c/kg or $1092
Welbanite: 29, Banemore and Bowmont blood, 326kg, EU, 329c/kg or $1072
Brooklyn: 15, Glenfern blood, 360kg, 297c/kg or $1069
Retreat: 10, Taronga blood, 338kg, 315c/kg or $1065
JRI Partnership: 19, Wilkah and Taronga blood, 320kg, 329c/kg or $1052
Sunningdale: 10, Banemore blood, 332kg, 316c/kg or $1049
Village View: 18, Banemore blood, EU, 331kg, 314c/kg or $1039
Butchers: 16, Taronga blood, EU, 319kg, 312c/kg or $995
Karingal: 22, Injemira and Yarram Park blood, EU, 306kg, 324c/kg or $991
Hazelbank: 23, Wilkah blood, 297kg, 330c/kg or $980
Strathlea: 20, Melville Park, EU, 302kg, 322c/kg or $972
Glenside: 9, Banemore blood, 304kg, 319c/kg or $970
Karingal: 22, Injemira and Yarram Park blood, EU, 252kg, 340c/kg or $856
Kenwyn: 9, 401kg, 309c/kg or $1239
Cloverdale: 20, EU, 372kg, 322c/kg or $1198
Woodlands: 25, EU, 354kg, 331c/kg or $1172
1. Wayne Sealey, “Strathlea”, Casterton, sold this pen of Hereford steers at the Landmark Casterton weaner sale today for 305c/kg or $1104. The Melville Park blood steers weighed 362kg and were bought by steer finisher Matt Weber, Carter Lindsay & Weber, Dubbo.
2. Brothers Kevin and Alan McDonald, “Sunningdale’’, Digby, have been long time supporters of the Landmark steer weaner sale at Casterton. They sold this pen of Banemore blood steers, 376kg, for $1120 to Carter Lindsay & Weber, Dubbo.
3. Jack Rees, “Retreat”, Casterton, sold his pen of 10 steers, Taronga blood and weighing 338kg, for 315c/kg or $1065 to Mt Gambier at the Landmark Casterton steer weaner sale.
4. Manny Carlin, “Butchers”, Casterton, offered 25 steers to top the Landmark Casterton weaner sale. He sold this pen of Taronga blood steers, 383kg (the heaviest pen), for 302c/kg or $1156.
5. Alan Millard, “Welbanite’’, receives the Herefords Australia champion pen sash presented by chairman Bill Kee. The pen of 25 Banemore and Bowmont blood steers weighed 364kg, were EU accredited and sold for 310c/kg or $1128.
6. This pen of Black Baldy steers drew plenty of buyer attention – the pen offered by Woodlands weighed 354kg and sold for 331c/kg or $1172.
7. This pen of Banemore and Bowmont blood steer weaners from the Millard family, Welbanite, weighed 326kg and sold for 329c/kg to a Russian export order through Landmark International.
9. This middle run of March-April 2016 drop weaners sold for 300-330c/kg at the Landmark Casterton weaner sale.
10. Matt Weber, of Carter Lindsay & Weber, Dubbo, bought 600 Hereford and Angus steers out of the Casterton and Hamilton sales at an average weight of 358kg and average price of 310c/kg.
11. Clyde Lawrence, “Karingal”, Casterton, topped the Landmark Casterton sale with a pen of Injemira and Yarram Park blood steers, 252kg, selling for 340c/kg.