Vendors were excited to ride the wave as buyers set a red-hot pace at Wodonga to send prices soaring to a stellar 1049c/kg in the opening salvo of the 2022 weaner sales.
Selling agents Elders and Paull & Scollard Nutrien Ag Solutions yarded 5800 Hereford, Hereford cross, Angus and Euro mixed sex weaners on January 6 for the Premier All Breeds Grown and Feature Weaner Sale.
Topping the purebred autumn drop Hereford offering on a dollars per head basis was Sleigh Pastoral, Jerilderie, on $2470 for 390kg steers, while Tarabah Pastoral Company, Morundah, topped the cents per kilogram on 1049c/kg for steers under 200kg.
In the purebred yearling and heavy grown steers over 350kg, prices settled at $2290-$2870 or 461-599c/kg.
The black baldy portion sold for $2300-$2900 or 528-647c/kg.
This compared to the Angus sale the previous day which topped at $2880 and 877c/kg.
Moving into the autumn drop 2021 weaners, Hereford steers weighing over 350kg sold for $2320-$2470 or 649-657c/kg.
Steers weighing 250-350kg finished at $1910-$2330 or 576-767c/kg and the lighter weights under 250kg settled at $1720-$2095 or 855-1049c/kg.
In the black baldy pens, steers 250-350kg averaged $2270 or 754c/kg.
In the heifer pens, a single pen of grown Hereford females (not station mated) sold for $2290 or 566c/kg and those under 350kg made $1730-$2100 or 570-673c/kg.
Grown black baldy females finished at $2350-$2550 or 536-607c/kg and heifers under 350kg made $1940-$2170 or 625-660c/kg.
Active buyers included JBS Australia, Colin Say & Co, Schubert Boers, Elders Holbrook, Elders Wangaratta, Elders Albury, Elders Tamworth, Ray White Emms Mooney, Corcoran Parker, and commission agents Peter Tuohey and Graeme Ward.
Graeme Ward judged the Herefords Australia champion pen of autumn drop 2021 steers, awarding the sash to David Sleigh, Sleigh Pastoral, Ruffy, for his pen of 25 Allendale and Mawarra blood, Bayunga bred steers. The pen averaged 380kg and were snapped up by Shad Bailey, Colin Say & Co, Glen Innes, for $2440 or 642c/kg.
The overall champion pen sponsored by Elders was also awarded to Sleigh Pastoral, Jerilderie, for their pen of 21 steers, Bayunga bred and weighing 390kg, selling for $2470 or 630c/kg to Corcoran Parker, Wodonga.
Mr Ward described the pens as exhibiting growth for age, length, bone and evenness. He was filling northern orders on the day for backgrounders and lotfeeders for steers and heifers at 300-320kg liveweight.
The sale opened on an annual draft of heavy grown steers from Alastair McKoy, Ohio Herefords, Holbrook, with the run topping at $2870 (510c/kg) for a pen weighing 562kg and aged 21-22 months.
Woodstock Partnership, Tooma, topped the whiteface heavy grown steers with a pen of 549kg black baldies on $2900 or 528c/kg.
A highlight of the sale was the run of 563 steer weaners from Michael and Anna Coughlan, Tarabah Livestock Company, Morundah. The Wirruna blood steers were sired by bulls ranked in the top 15 per cent for eye muscle area, top 10 per cent for IMF, were December weaned, and Greenhams Never Ever accredited.
The tops, a run of 56 weighing 767c/kg sold for $2110 or 767c/kg, while the lighter end of 47 steers weighing 164kg were snapped up for $1720 or a whopping 1049c/kg.
Among the vendors was Richard Long, “Howitt Plains”, Tamleigh, with Yavenvale and Glentrevor blood steers, treated with Bovilis and Elders Feedlot Ready.
Mr Long selects bulls ranked top one per cent for IMF, top 5 per cent for EMA, and top 10 per cent for growth.
His top pen of the November weaned steers weighed 331kg and made $2300 or 694c/kg.
His objective to breed cattle with docility, marbling and carcase paid off with prices for his draft $400 up on last year.
David and Vicki McCullum, Tooma, sold 20-22-month-old Bovilis vaccinated Hereford steers weighing 472kg to a top of $2540.
“I always sell weaners at this sale and keep a few older steers to show buyers what they can grow into,” Mr McCallum said.
“I like the weight gains and docility of the Hereford. It is the first year we have treated them with Bovilis as you have to meet the market and be prepared to give the buyers what they want.”
Among the buyers was Ken Sylvester, Scone, NSW, was actively sourcing 350kg liveweight Herefords to finish on grass for the export market at 430kg dressed. Ken paid $2095 or 855c/kg for 35 Wirruna blood steers, 245kg, from Tarabah Pastoral.
David Allen, Mitiamo, Vic, was buying Hereford cattle for himself and his brother Neil to finish to feedlot entry weights or to Greenham’s Never Ever program.
Mr Allen paid an average of $2310 for 49 steers and $2130 for a pen of 30 weighing 312kg to overage overall $2238.
Cecily Trickett, Culcairn, sold a draft of 57 steers and 47 heifers, Wirruna blood and PCAS eligible, to a top of $2130 – $400 up on last year’s top price.
“It’s terrific and exciting. It’s nice to catch up with people and you can learn quite a bit from coming to the sales,” Mrs Trickett said.
She said the additional revenue would mean a spend up on new genetics, cattle yards and “farm development ideas would be implemented”.
Elders Albury livestock manager Brett Shea said the Hereford cattle sold above expectations.
“We went into the sale hoping the job would be as strong as what we saw in 2021 and it has opened extremely strong,” Mr Shea said.
“The buyers got fired up on those early to mid 300kg cattle – very strong on the Herefords with multiple northern orders operating.
“Our company is proud of the feature run of Herefords at this sale each year and this is the first time we have combined it as a black and coloured sale. We were diligent to ensure the Herefords got the recognition and the position in the sale they deserved.”
Mr Shea said the autumn drop Hereford steers sold well at $2200 to $2450.
“Those Tarabah cattle were the first to sell over $10/kg at Wodonga. It will be difficult to buy runs of calves that weight the further we push into 2022,” he said.
“Michael and Anna Coughlan picked a good time to market lightweight calves with strong northern demand and those Tarabah cattle do get so much repeat competition.
“There were strong orders for grown joinable heifers and that filtered down to the lead run of unjoined heifer weaners with solid interest from the New England, northern Victoria and southern NSW.”
Hereford Steers (autumn drop)
Sleigh Pastoral, Jerilderie: 21, Bayunga bred, 390kg, $2470 (630c/kg);17, Bayunga bred, 355kg, $2330 (656c/kg)
Sleigh Pastoral, Ruffy: 25, Allandale and Mawarra blood, Bayunga bred, 380kg, $2440 (642c/kg); 25, 332kg, $2330 (701c/kg)
GJ Hore, Wymah: 23, Rotherfield blood, 323kg, $2330 (721c/kg)
J M Hiscock & Sons, Kilmore: 26, Glendan Park and Tarcombe, Greenham’s Never Ever accred, 353kg, $2320 (657c/kg); 24, 332kg, $2310 (695c/kg)
H & R Long, Tamleigh: 26, 357kg, $2320 (649c/kg); 30, Yavenvale and Glentrevor blood, 331kg, $2300 (694c/kg)
G & C Kelly, Kilmore East: 14, Tarcombe blood, 355kg, $2310 (650c/kg)
M & A Goonan, Mudgegonga: 17, Mawarra and Yarram Park blood, 356kg, $2310 (648c/kg); 13, 292kg, $2040 (698c/kg)
D & V McCallum, Tooma: 40, Yavenvale blood, Bovilis vacc, 328kg, $2240 (682c/kg)
Ravensdale Rural, Holbrook: 18, Ravensdale blood, 342kg, $2180 (637c/kg); 22, 310kg, $2090 (674c/kg)
Cecily Trickett, Morven: 30, Wirruna blood, PCAS eligible, 312kg, $2130 (682c/kg); 27, 265kg, $2020 (762c/kg)
Tarabah Livestock Co, Morundah: 56, Wirruna blood, Greenham’s Never Ever accred, 275kg, $2110 (767c/kg); 174, 223, $2000 (896c/kg); 35, 221kg, $2000 (904c/kg), 33, 243kg, $2080 (855c/kg);
Black baldy steers
Granite Flat Pastoral, Mitta Mitta: 21, March drop, Greenhams Never Ever accred, Mawarra blood, 413kg, $2520 (610c/kg)
G & T Healy, Osborne Flat: 25, 387kg, $2450 (633c/kg)
A Wallace, Porepunkah: 8, 392kg, $2370 (604c/kg)
McGuffie, Buffalo River: 9, 355kg, $2300 (647c/kg)
W & J Beer, Deniliquin: 24, Rotherfield blood, 404kg, $2290 (566c/kg)
B Prichard, Tallangatta Valley: 8, 334kg, $2100 (628c/kg)
JM Hiscock & Sons, Kilmore East: 29, Glendan Park and Tarcombe blood, 317kg, $1950 (615c/kg)
Cecily Trickett, Morven: 36, Wirruna blood, 270kg, $1810 (670c/kg)
B & Kelly: 3, Tarcombe blood, 260kg, $1750 (673c/kg)
Sleigh Pastoral, Ruffy: 10, 296kg, $1870 (631c/kg); 12, 266kg, $1730 (650c/kg)
Richard Long, “Howitt Plains”, Tamleigh, and Joe Allen, Elders Euroa. Richard sold his top pen of steers, 357kg, for $2320 (649c/kg).
Albury commission buyer Graeme Ward and Jeff Garland, Grant Daniel Long, Toowoomba. Jeff bought Herefords out of the Wodonga sale last for northern NSW and southern Queensland growers.
Herefords Australia vice chairman Marc Greening with the Herefords Australia sponsored champion pen of steers owned by David Sleigh, Ruffy.
Anne Walsh, Granite Flat Pastoral, Mitta Mitta, with her daughter Kate Reid, Albury, and her children Adelyn and Zara. Anne represented her late husband Mike Walsh who passed away last May. Their black baldy autumn drop steers, 413kg, made $2520 or 610c/kg.
Ian Wilson, Ruglen Herefords, Bungowannah, was getting a feel for 2022 prices at Wodonga. He recently sold heavy steers, Danetree blood, at 650kg for $2860, and is looking for replacements.
Buyers David Hill, David Hill Livestock and Property, Albury, Jamie Snow, Woomargama, and Ken Sylvester, Scone.
David Allen, Mitiamo, Vic, was buying Herefords for himself and his brother Neil to finish off grass for feedlots or to Greenham’s Never Ever program.
Stephen and Cecily Trickett, Culcairn, with their daughter Katrina Morrison, sold this pen of Wirruna blood heifers, 270kg, for $1810 or 670c/kg.
Anna and Michael Coughlan, Tarabah Pastoral Company, Morundah, sold a run of over 500 steer weaners, Wirruna blood, to a top of 1049c/kg.
David and Vicki McCallum, Tooma, sold grown steers, Yavenvale blood and 472kg, for $2540.
The run of over 500 Wirruna blood weaners from Tarabah Pastoral, Morundah, with a new record for weaner prices for the breed set at 1049c/kg.
Bids fly for the champion pens at the Premier All Breeds Grown and Feature Weaner sale from Sleigh Pastoral, Jerilderie and Ruffy.
The heavy grown Hereford steers topped at $2870 at Wodonga.
The heavier end of the autumn drop 2021 Hereford steers sold for $2320-$2470 or 649-657c/kg.